Patty Pan Squash
BY ALICE SCHULZ | 27 AUGUST 2019
Patty pan squash sometimes referred to as UFO squash or custard squash, are a small, flat member of the summer squash family. Instantly recognisable by their satisfyingly plump round shape and soft scalloped edges, patty pan can be found in bright yellow, dark green or white varieties, and some come in a tempting speckled or multicoloured variety.
Summer squashes are squashes that are harvested when small and immature. In contrast to their wintery cousins (like pumpkins and butternuts), summer squashes have thin, tender skins, edible seeds and a much higher water content, making them a refreshing answer to any midsummer squash cravings. Inside, patty pans are pale white with a creamy texture and they are buttery and nuttier in flavour than other varieties of summer squash.
Compared to the familiar green courgette, they have a slightly tougher nature, so they hold up better to longer cooking times and higher temperatures. Although available in both large and small sizes, patty pans are at their most tender when they’re relatively immature (no bigger than 3 inches in diameter) so look out for small, firm fruits - they should feel heavy for their size.
Patty pan can be used like any other summer squash and are best simply sliced and fried in butter and garlic or eaten shaved and tossed with lemon into a salad.
Larger patty pans still have edible skin but the seeds are bigger and tougher so best to cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. You can then stuff them, put them back together and roast them.
As the name suggests these are summer squash so they peak in the warmer months - anytime between May and September - however, they are available year-round so you can also throw them into winter soups and stews or even pickle them.
Stoke Newington Green Fruit and Vegetables
Try out these recipes with Patty Pan Squash;
Bread Salad with Patty Pan Squash, Mozzarella, Red Onion and Basil.