Seasonal Spotlight: Pattypan Squash

The flying saucers have landed! With their disc-like form and scalloped edges, pattypans are among the most distinctive of summer squashes.Known by a multitude of names including pattypan, cymling, scalloped, custard, or sunburst squash, they range in color from white to green to yellow and size from one to several inches in diameter. Smaller squashes are the most tender, with a delicate, buttery or olive oil-like flavor.
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The shape of pattypans may be enticing in the garden or at the market, but how do you tackle them in the kitchen? Fortunately, peeling is not necessary; just trim the tough ends. Although they may be sliced, cubed, shredded and cooked or served raw like any other summer squash, we like preparations that allow us to admire their beautiful form as we eat.

Small, or baby, pattypan squash may be braised, steamed, roasted, or grilled whole. Larger ones may be hollowed out and stuffed or even used as soup bowls. Slicing them horizontally also makes a nice shape for grilling or roasting. For another idea, check out the adorable pattypan "pizza" in the recipe links below.

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Recipes: • Baked Summer Squash, from The Kitchn • Garlicky Grilled Pattypan Squash, from Relish • Pattypan "Pizza", from Jugalbandi • Pattypan Squash Braised With Onion, Tomato and Chorizo, from Daniel Patterson/New York Times • Patty Pan Squash Stuffed with Cajun White Beans, from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen • Patty Pan Squash Stuffed with Lemon and Currant Quinoa, from Bron Marshall

(Images: Emily Ho)

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Emily Ho is a Los Angeles-based writer, recipe developer, and educator on topics such as food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. She is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and Food Swap Network. Learn more at Roots & Marvel