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 Spaghetti Squash, Asparagus and Chicken

I love roasted spaghetti squash and have been making it weekly for about three months now. I started eating it as a substitute for pasta while on the Whole30 nutritional program but continue cooking it simply because I enjoy it all dolled up as a vegetable. When I tell people how much I love spaghetti squash, the first thing they ask is how do I cook it. I roast it. I’ll show you how.

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How to Prep and Roast a Spaghetti Squash:

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Preheat oven to 425º

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Be careful, the squash surface is hard, and the squash tends to want to roll around making it a challenge to cut. To get started, I usually stab it with a knife and then pull the knife down to create a fissure across one side. Next, I turn the squash over and do the same thing on the other side.

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Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and fibrous pulp.

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Line a roasting pan with parchment paper and place the two squash halves on it. Drizzle olive oil on each half and use a basting brush to spread the oil over the interior.

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Turn the squash over in the pan and roast for 45 minutes to one hour. The squashes I have been using have each weighed about four pounds and were fork-tender in one hour. Smaller squash will cook in a shorter amount of time.

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Remove from oven and turn the squash over. You’ll immediately notice the stringiness of the squash. Use a fork to scrape the sides and fluff the tender, caramelized pulp. At this point, it is an empty canvas for whatever you wish to do to flavor it, much like spaghetti.

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This is one of my favorite ways to prepare spaghetti squash for a delicious, healthy, low-carb side dish, or if you want to make it an entrée, add cooked chicken.

Yield: 2 servings as an entrée

Ingredients:

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½ roasted spaghetti squash (3 cups or 1.5 pounds cooked squash)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch asparagus (1 pound un-prepped)
1 bunch green onions (4 ounces un-prepped)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
Sea salt and garlic pepper to taste. Start with ½ teaspoon of each and add more as desired.

Mise en Place:

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Use a fork to shred and toss the roasted spaghetti squash.

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Prep the asparagus and green onions.

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Saute asparagus and onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes.

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Stir in squash. Add sea salt and garlic pepper to taste. When I was just learning to cook, I hated to read the words “to taste.” I had no idea where to begin. My advice is to start with ½ teaspoon of salt and garlic pepper (¼ teaspoon if just using plain pepper without the garlic). Add more seasoning until it tastes good to you. We happen to use less salt than most people.

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I decided to make this an entrée for dinner and added grilled chicken.

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Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.

For a quick side dish, mix shredded squash with salt, garlic pepper, butter, and Parmesan. Another way to serve is to toss it with marinara sauce.

Cooked squash will last in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days before it turns mushy. Alternatively, store it in a bag and freeze until ready to use.

Buon Appetito!

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