Patty Pan Pie

200px-The_Tale_of_the_Pie_and_the_Patty-Pan_coverThe Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan by Beatrix Potter

A charming children’s story of a silly dog named Duchess who believes she has swallowed a small pastry tin called a patty pan.

Patty pan squash or scalloped squash is named after the French word, patisson, a small pastry baked in a scalloped mold.  They grow in a variety of colors, pale green, yellow and white  Patty pan squash are best eaten when immature and no more than 2-4 inches in diameter. They prefer full sun and obtain a height of about 2-3 feet with a bushy like appearance.  I grow the Pattison Panache heirloom variety which is very pale green in appearance. This is our second planting of patty pan squash this summer and the distinctive shape and mild taste has inspired me to incorporate some creative cooking options.

squashThe honeybees work the bright yellow blossoms as do bumblebees and other beneficial pollinators.  This means no sprays or pesticides are used on or around the plants.  Our early summer planting developed a squash bug infestation.  We removed the plants and relocated the current crop to a new location. The best and practically only organic defense again squash bugs or a cucumber beetle invasion is checking beneath the leaves and forcibly removing them.  In extreme cases you could take a leaf blower  to the plants but remember other beneficial bugs will be  blown about as well. Mulch or straw under the plants may help keep these pesky bugs at bay.  If healthy, plants will continue to produce fruits late into the fall, or as long as there is no risk of heavy frost.

IMG_0756So, what to do with this unusual shaped squash. Stuff it,  I say!

I’ve tried a variety of of stuffing options. One is as simple as breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic.  It makes a uncomplicated side dish to accompany  heavier menu options.

The following are a couple of my favorite options.

When prepping the squash, a few basic directions remain the same.

Puncture the squash with a fork (like prepping a potato for the microwave)

Bring water in large pot to boil

Lightly salt if desired

Boil for 10 minutes or until fork slides through flesh easily but squash retains some firmness.

Remove and immediately run under cold water or shock in ice bath.

You can slice the squash in many ways.  I prefer using as a bowl by slicing off top

IMG_0527Scoop out fleshy part and set aside.  I remove seeds if excessively large. This depends on size of squash. They make great individual serving sizes but if you prefer to stretch them out a bit, cut in half, scoop out the meaty part and use the outer shell as a Pita shape shell.  This will double your portion size.

Prepare brown rice/quinoa according to directions.  I prefer the Near East variety, it takes about 15 minutes on the stove top and has a variety of flavors.

quinoa box

Option One.

Coarsely chop  2 medium tomatoes and sauteed with one medium onion and one clove garlic( finely chopped)  Stir in set aside squash meat and cook 3-5 minutes on medium.  Don’t allow it to get too mushy.

Mix in cooked quinoa,  a cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped and 1 cup shredded mozzarella.

Pack into scooped out squash bowls and salt and pepper to taste. ( I always recommend using fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper)

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

IMG_0529

Option Two.

This option was inspired by a dish I had at The Farmhouse, a farm to table style restaurant located the in Kansas City River Market.  Head Chef and co-owner Michael Foust is a strong advocate for local sourcing and is an inspired and innovative chef.  My recipe cannot begin to do his justice, but this what I came up with.

Prepare the squash and quinoa as above

In a separate pan, sauteed fresh corn, onions, bell pepper, adding two cloves garlic finely minced. If mixture starts to stick or dry out, add 1cup vegetable broth and reduce liquids by half.

Mix well with cooked quinoa and stuff into prepared squash.

Sprinkle with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese

Cook in oven at 350 degrees for thirty minutes

squash optionChef Foust’s recipe was drizzled with a beautiful honey fennel sauce. My version has a fennel honey puree on top. Not quite the same effect!

I divided the squash in half to double the portions for the International Officers Food Fair.  The IO Food Fair is held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and is the greatest potluck ever, with over 60 countries sharing  native dishes.  We are sponsoring Kosovo this year. Over the years, we have sampled cooking from all around the world. It’s an amazing event and we’ve been privileged to have sponsored many officers and their families for the past seventeen years.

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2 comments
Barbara says

Hum, and I thought they were just for decorating with! Going to try this sounds wonderful! I just started cooking spaghetti squash last year and love it. Takes 2 minutes in my electric pressure cooker which I love to cook in.

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    TheQueenBee-admin says

    No, they aren’t just a pretty squash. I love spaghetti squash as well. I make a great butternut squash dip and love to stuff them with ground venison, peppers, rice and cheese for a main dish. I will have to check out that pressure cooker. Another old technique that is new again!

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