Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Patty pan squash is a type of summer squash with a distinctive disclike shape. At a glance, patty pan squash looks sort of like a UFO or a child's top, with a fat center and deeply scalloped edges, and this squash tends to attract some attention in the produce department thanks to its unusual shape. The flavor of patty pan squash is similar to that of other summer squashes such as zucchini, and it can be used in a wide assortment of recipes.
You may also hear patty pan squash referred to as pattypan squash or scalloped squash. These common names reference the idea that the squash looks sort of like the scalloped molds used to make some fancy desserts. The best patty pan squash is small, generally no larger than the width of a palm in diameter, with a bright, even color.
Depending on the cultivar, this squash may be green, white, or yellow. The more mature the squash is, the deeper color and the thicker the rind. Young squash have rinds which are so tender that they can be eaten along with the rest of the squash, while older squash generally need to be peeled for use. A squash which is too large will be woody, hard, and tasteless, which is something that should be kept in mind at the grocery store. Good squash will be uniformly textured, with no signs of mold or discolored spots.
These squash are small enough to be cooked whole, and they can be steamed, boiled, or baked after they have been poked to release any pressure which might build up during the cooking process. Patty pan squash can also be halved, stuffed, and baked or broiled, and it may be used chopped in an assortment of dishes where squash might be desirable. The nutritional value of this squash is high: it has lots of magnesium, vitamin A, folic acid, niacin, and vitamin C.
Growing patty pan squash is a snap in most climates. After the last chance of frost has passed in the spring, you can plant seedlings or seeds in a warm, well-drained area of the garden, and you will be harvesting squash within a few months. Some gardeners like to space out their planting so that they have access to fresh squash throughout the summer months and into the early fall. You may want to be aware that summer squash are notorious for their heavy yields, so a few plants will go a long way.
One of my wife's favorite patty pan recipes is stuffed patty pan squash.
You boil the squash until they are tender, then scoop out the middle, saving all the parts that you scoop out.
Then you fry the inside bits with onions, garlic, ham, bacon, or anything else that you like to use for stuffing.
Once everything is hot, you stir in breadcrumbs to hold everything together, then stuff the squash shells with what you just made.
Some people like to add cheese, but I'm lactose intolerant, so my wife doesn't put any one mine.
Then you bake everything together in the oven for about 15 minutes until it's all piping hot, then serve.
They are truly delicious, and, as the article said, healthy enough to offset the stuffing, at least a little bit.
@EarlyForest -- The difference is in their maturity.
When the patty pan squash is young, it is actually green, and only turns yellow as it matures.
The older they get, the whiter they become, hence the difference in colors.
However, the basic answer to your question is that there is no difference -- one is just older than the other.
Is there difference between yellow patty pan squash and white patty pan squash?
Other than the color, obviously.
I mean, do they taste different or do you use them differently?
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!