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.
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.
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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