Patty Pan

The Underutilized Squash


I happen to love patty pan squash; actually, I am a fan of squash period. I first discovered patty pan, at a farmer’s market, in California, drawn to it by its scalloped edges and size. I remember it was priced very reasonably, which completely mattered in those days, so I decided to purchase several pounds.

Initially, I prepared it as I would have zucchini, and what I appreciated about the patty pan was the firmer texture and taste. Today, it is much more readily available, though if I see it at a farm stand, I will always buy it; I am a romantic about everything, most especially food.

As summer begins to wind down, farmers markets are everywhere and produce is wonderfully plentiful, if you are looking for something perhaps a little different, try patty pan squash tonight.

This recipe could not be easier, and still packed full of flavor; this is a great side dish, an accompaniment to rice, or a meal in itself!


3 pounds of fresh Patty Pan Squash

1 large Onion, coarsely chopped

1 pound Spanish Chorizo, the highest quality you can find. (Marcial introduced us to Palacios, it is excellent.)

3 tablespoons of Olive Oil

3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/4 of Water or White Wine



In a large skillet, sauté the onion, with the chorizo, for at least five minutes. Spanish chorizo is filled with a glorious paprika and other seasonings that you want released into those onions; add the minced garlic, turn the heat down, as you do not want the garlic to burn. After about two to three minutes, add the squash, and mix gently, letting it absorb the flavors, in the skillet; after a few minutes, add the water or wine, and continue cooking until the squash reaches your point of perfection, in terms of tenderness.

To prepare this for vegetarians or vegans, omit the chorizo and instead add several teaspoons of Spanish paprika and a sprinkle of garlic powder, when you add the water or wine.



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