Roasted Patty Pan Squash

Patty Pan, Scalloped, and Flying Saucer are all perfect names for this whimsical variety of summer squash known for its ornately scalloped edges and shades of color ranging from pale yellow, to variegated yellow and green, to dark green. The color of this particular variety, called “Flying Saucer,” is temperature dependent — it will turn green when temps become very hot in the summer.

Patty Pans are kin to other varieties of summer squash such as zucchini, yellow crooknecks, and “Cubes of Butter” all of which ripen between June and September.

Summer squashes are thin-skinned with tender interiors. They can be eaten raw with their peel intact. Compare that to mature winter squashes such as butternutacorn, spaghetti, and pumpkin, with their hard outer skins, firm interior flesh, and fibrous seeds. They need a little more attention when cooked, but man, are they good, too!!

   

How to Grow Patty Pans

I grew these patty pans with my other summer squashes in a 4 x 13 foot raised bed. I planted the seeds on April 3rd and started harvesting around June 10th. Here is how the bed looked on April 8th, (the day they germinated), May 10th, and on June 10th when I started harvesting. One plant will bear two to three successive harvests before dying off.

It is best to pick patty pans when they are less than 4 inches in diameter.

How to Cook Roasted Patty Pan Squash (and other varieties of summer squash)

For roasting most vegetables, I think Mary Kane’s (aka Mom’s) trinity of McCormick’s Garlic Pepper, fine sea salt, and extra-virgin olive oil is a surefire way to a successful dish.

My mother was a fantastic cook whose nightly dinners were legendary. A big tip was to keep dinner simple. Basically, she prepared a protein, a starch and a vegetable or two every night. There were no fancy sauces or ingredients for which she had to spend hours searching. Her daily ten-mile drive to Walkers Roadside Stand, along the bucolic Sakonnet River in Little Compton, R.I. was more of a peaceful escape than a trip to hunt down ingredients.

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She learned early on that roasting vegetables enhanced their natural goodness, and that includes sweetness. I, in turn, learned by cooking by her side most of my life.

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Ingredients

2 pounds Patty Pan squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt (or, to taste)
¾ teaspoon garlic pepper

Mise en Place

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400º.

Wash and dry veggies and cut off stems. Slice each squash into three segments.

Place slices in a bowl and toss with Mary Kane’s Trinity.

Arrange slices in a single layer in a large parchment-lined roasting pan.

Roast for 40-45 minutes. Flip over halfway if you want both sides browned. I don’t bother with this extra step.

I love the unique squashy taste and denseness of these Patty Pan slices.

Serve squash with:
Cooking Dinner in an Unfocused Way, or Ode to the Rice Cooker
Easy Roasted Salmon with Olive Oil and Garlic Pepperor
Lemony Grilled Chicken Breast
Very Berry Clafoutis or Ellen’s Most Moist Zucchini Bread for dessert

Always check the website for the most current version of a recipe.

© 2014-2017 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.

Roasted Acorn Squash, Applesauce, and Cinnamon

When we were growing up, my mother cooked dinner every night. There was always a  protein, a vegetable, and a starch except on Sundays when one of my grandmothers cooked dinner, and the lines between the three core food groups were blurred by the honking big pot of meat sauce on the stove.  Milk was the only beverage served, and it was poured from a Hall China “Orange Poppy” ceramic pitcher because milk bottles on the table were a big No-No.

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The table was always set, and the food was always served in pretty serving bowls and passed around the table clockwise. We ate what Mom cooked. These were all non-negotiables. At the time, I envied my next door neighbor girlfriends who got to sit in front of the television and have TV Dinners on Thursday nights.

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Mom was a single parent, worked full-time, and was a fabulous cook. I was her sous chef and worked by her side to get dinner on the table for our large family. Helping with dinner was a point of pride for me. Mom and I were a team. While structured family meals have undergone a lot of change in the past fifty years, the way I prepare acorn squash remains the same. Mom knew how to prepare “adult” foods so children would eat them.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
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4 acorn squashes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups unsweetened “natural” applesauce
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
cracked pepper

Mise en Place:
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Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400º
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make cinnamon sugar: mix 4 teaspoons sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.

Prepare Squash:
Cut off each end of acorn squash. Cut off as little as is necessary to stabilize the squash so it will sit upright.

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Cut squash in half. Admire nature’s bounty.

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Scoop out seeds. Coat the interior and top edges of each squash half with EVO.

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Add about a quarter cup (or more) of applesauce to each squash half.

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Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar followed by a little cracked pepper. Place squash halves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

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Roast for about one hour, until browned and fork-tender. Serve in a pretty serving dish.

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Mom and I in the kitchen. She was tiny, but strong!

Mary Judy

Serve with:
Cooking Dinner in an Unfocused Way, or Ode to the Rice Cooker
Brooks’s Pork Tenderloin with the Most Amazing Marinade
Judy’s Mom’s Meatloaf
Mom’s Marinated and Grilled Lamb
Mom’s Apple Pie (with a cheddar streusel topping)
Mom’s Pumpkin Pie

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© 2014-2017 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.