What in the world is pattypan squash?

Wondering what pattypan squash is? We went over to Jardins Glenorra, our partner farm, to see how they grow, look and taste!

These organic summer squashes range in colour from bright yellow to green to even white. They're very similar to zucchini but a tiny bit sweeter. Pattypan squash tastes best when young and small, you let them grow too much and they’ll taste like a potato. Julie from Jardins Glenorra knows her veggies so she harvests them at the right time.

How they look:

Growing on plants almost identical to zucchini (its cousin), you’ll be surprised when you see them for the first time. They look like little UFOs, floating above the soil waiting to be picked. Funny thing is, they’re usually surrounded by huge thorny leaves making it challenging to harvest without the right tools. This summer squash variety is actually a pumpkin-like fruit related to cucumber family. And yep, it’s a fruit because it contains plant seeds (when you cut it in half you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

How to eat:

1. Grilled with Garlic:

Their thin skin is edible so no need to peel. By far the fastest way to cook them is on the grill.

  • Cut into fours. Add salt, olive oil, 3 minced garlic cloves and some black pepper.
  • When the grill is ready (med-low heat), place your pattypan squash on it and slightly brown on both sides. “If you’re flippin, it ain't cookin.”

2. Sautéed pattypan squash.

Sautéeing is a great option for when the weather is not great or when you want hot veggies spiced with your favourite flavours.

  • Dice them (no need to peel, the skin is edible). In a medium saucepan, combine squash, a tbsp of olive oil, finely minced garlic cloves, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook for a few minutes until golden brown and serve.

3. Finally, a secret pickling recipe from Eastern Europe:

I’m Eastern European originally so I was very happy to discover that Jardins Glenorra has organic pattypan squash! Pickled pattypan squash was one of my favourite snacks at dinner at Grandma’s. This summer squash grows when it’s hot so it doesn’t last long. To preserve fresh veggies for cold winters, my grandma pickled almost everything, including pattypan squash. Here is a simple Ukrainian variation of pickling.

  • Prepare pattypan squash by cutting off the green stems on both ends of the squash.
  • Prepare spices: a few fresh dill sprigs, fresh celery stems, a few garlic cloves, horseradish to taste (you can also add mustard seeds), and a fresh hot pepper (remove the seeds.)
  • Mix up the brine by adding 50g of salt for every 1 L of water.
  • Take a mason jar, add the spices to the bottom, top with pattypan squashes up to half of the jar, add more spices, more patty pan squash and spices again. Fill the jar with the brine, put a lid on and let it sit for at least 24 hours or more before serving.

Bon appétit Lufavores!