A quick history of the “scallop squash” and what to make out of it.
Recently an employee here at Dickey Bub brought in this weird shaped squash….I’ve only seen squash like this in the fall but had no idea how to even cut it up or what to make from this….I assume other people have the same problem when they are given produce they’ve never seen or aren’t familiar with. Nevertheless, I am always interested in trying new things, but I had no idea what to make from this saucer-shaped vegetable.
This white saucer-shaped summer squash is called a “white bush scallop” or a “patty pan” squash and originated from the region between Mexico and Guatemala. It was largely popular during the 18th & 19th century, with Native Americans and American gardeners. Since then, it has been largely replace by other groups of squash.
The squash tastes better when it is relatively immature and is about 3 inches in diameter. You can probably expect the patty pan has some good nutritional value; a good source of magnesium, niacin, and vitamins A and C. One cup contains approximately 20 to 30 calories and no fat.
Preparing The Squash
The patty pan’s odd shape can confuse a cook….it confused me! You can cut up the squash any way you like but if you are going to make zucchini bread, you want to be conscious about where the seeds are…you don’t want those in your bread. Other ways to cook the vegetable include:
- You can avoid the whole idea of how to slice the vegetable and cook it whole. They can be steamed over boiling water until they are tender (about 4-6 minutes) and you can even eat the skin.
- They are often sliced, breaded and fried until golden brown.
- In Polish cuisine, they are pickled in sweet vinegar.
- You can cut up the squash and grill them with other vegetables using your own spices (click here for a skewer recipe)
- Cut them up and use them in your salad
- You can also utilize this vegetable’s odd shape by scooping out the insides and replacing it with some kind of dip or stuffing for a neat presentation.
- My co-worker used her squash and made a zucchini bread out of it and she said it was good!
- Since they are a squash, you can look up any squash recipes and use them in those.The patty pan squash seeds are sold in Dickey Bub stores in the spring when other garden seeds are available. If anyone else has other ideas on how to cook this summer squash, please leave your comments below!
1. Harry S. Paris, “Summer Squash: History, Diversity and Distribution,” Hort Technology, Jan/March 1996, http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/6/1/6.full.pdf (accessed July 22, 2013).
2. Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattypan_squash (accessed July 22, 2013).
3. Marie Iannotti, “Patty Pan Squash – Growing the Flying Saucer Shaped Patty Pan Squash,” About.com Guide, http://gardening.about.com/od/vegetables/p/Patty-Pan-Squash.htm (accessed July 22, 2013).