Patty Pan Squash: What is it and how do I prepare it?
With the temperatures holding steady at 90 or above for what seems like weeks at a time, we are in the thick of summer. Crops that thrive in this hot weather are mostly "fruits" that develops from a flower of the plant. You might have seen squash flowers as a delicacy in the supermarket - an actual squash could've developed from that flower!
There's plenty of squash to go around, but sometimes we are only well-versed with the popular green zucchini. There are dozens and dozens (maybe even hundreds?) of different kinds of squash in the world. One of our favorites is the Patty Pan Squash, a summer squash that looks like a UFO/spaceship from the comics of the 1950s and 1960s.
These spaceship-esc things aren't elusive or inconspicuous in the dead of night, just the opposite. Patty Pan squash are bright colors, in hues of orange, yellow, and green, that'll stick out brilliantly on your countertop or on the grill.
Their strange shape may have you wondering how the heck to prepare and cook these disc-like things. To store properly, keep in the chiller drawer of your fridge. No need to clean until you are ready to cook.
When you are ready to cook, rinse under cold water and trim off any remaining woody stems. The easiest way to cut the squash is to cut up into wedges. The wedges then can be roasted, sauteed with garlic, or grilled.
This squash is amazing in gratins, in savory pies, added to pasta and served with fresh herbs, or tossed with a nice light vinaigrette and barley or quinoa for a chilled salad.