inter-galactic rescue

Daddy Pan, Mummy Pan and Baby Pan aka the Pattypan family ~ Pattypan recipes

I want to thank you all for the fantastic suggestions, inspiration, opinions, and laughs. A treat for me when my brain was frazzled and I was left looking at my aliens wondering what on earth to do with them – you came in your spaceships to inter-galactic rescue.

Patty Pan_ Pattison Croblan (3)There were a few who hadn’t seen or heard of Pattypan’s before, welcome to my world I say! Lots of you commented that you’d only ever seen green or yellow ones – these aliens speak with a French accent, and the variety is Pattison Croblan, a summer squash. Collectively you advised me to pick them young (at baby pan’s size), when the flesh is younger and not as tough.

There is a decided camp of love and not so love with the croftgarden and Tandy finding them tasteless and have collectively given up on them. While ShimonZ  prefers to photograph squash – I totally appreciate that! As far as I’m concerned the jury is out on the taste test trials, we’ll see when I’ve worked my way through all your suggestions.

Summer Squash plants growing (2)

Many of you like Debra from Three Well Beings recommended steaming  , Mandy from thecompletecookbook is a girl after my own heart – advising the art of throwing lots of butter and herbs at them after having lightly steamed them, or as Marie of gardenfreshtomatoes suggested herby cheese, her solution to ALL summer cooking.

Others like Our Growing Paynes, mrszeg and Cathy  told me to stuff it! I took it they meant the squash and not literally!

It seems that Teresa Blackburn Is joining me on my space travels, having planted them for the first time and grown them because we like the way they look!  But at least she has a plan of sorts – it involves cutting them up, tossing in olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper and roasting them. Inger Wilkerson  took roasting them to another level – by caramelizing them in butter.

Growing Up in the Garden  recommends adding them to a quiche alongside some tomatoes – a perfect summer choice. Eha – the gem has given me several ideas including the bonus info that they are fine raw, grated and added to a favourite dressing: something with yogurt, chill – don’t you like the idea of that?!

dadirri7 – chucks them in stir frys, and treats them like courgettes, Norma Chang adds them to everything and Eha added sage advice on avoiding overcooking them, especially when stir frying. And thinkingcowgirl – reminded  me of grating them and using in a cake, her suggestion was for grated squash in an orange/almond cake – sounds perfect doesn’t it!

Summer Squash plants growing (1)

Kim Bultman – reminds us not to peel them, the skin is perfectly tasty, and to use them with Greek seasonings – like oregano for a taste of summer. I think Tammy sums them up ” These are really versatile so you can bake, roast, grill, saute and just add other things that you love”

And if in doubt there is always soup the Soup Dragon that is 🙂

The comedians  joined in too with Saskia (1=2) suggesting I buy some stick-on googly eyes, her youngest likes to customise weird vegetables with them. And to round the comedy off ChgoJohn  he of stuffed courgette flower flame, in his own words “I dunno, Claire. Maybe pick ‘em earlier … much, much earlier … like the blossom stage and, well, break out the cheese and frying oil. Other than that, listen to your more knowledgeable comments.”

As I work my way through summer eating, it is Maggie’s suggestion that is the big hit of summer 2013. My patty pan hero is Maggie – aka Chica Andaluza mum 🙂

Maggie’s Super Simple Summer Risotto

You can make this with any summer squash or courgette, a mix of varieties and colours makes for a delicious, easy, simple and tasty summer risotto.

  • Grate patty pan and zest a lemon and chop a large handful  parsley and set aside.
  • Make a risotto – your choice of onion or shallot, some garlic and maybe a dash of white wine and plenty of vegetable stock.
  • In the last five minutes turn off the heat under the risotto and throw in the prepared ingredients (patty pan, lemon zest and chopped parsley), mix well and cover with a clean tea towel.
  • Serve with butter, parmesan and black pepper.

It is the grating and no-cook of the patty pan / courgettes with the hint of lemon that makes this a true summer risotto.


Growing Patty Pan

If you are inspired to grow them – sow and grow as you would for courgettes and summer squash but I recommend giving them plenty of room, the leaves are huge and create a dense canopy under which the patty pan hide. I would plant them about 3ft apart, just be generous with spacing and good compost or well rotted manure!



  • From pic seems they grow on bush not on ground as vine as most squash I supposed adaptation because as weight. I have eaten them. Like an ever so quick par boil then olive oil, oregano, hit of coarse ground black pepper.

    • Yes they are definitely “bush babies” and not the sprawling crawling kind of squash Carl! I’m gradually working my way through all the suggestions – I like the idea of oregano as we have loads of it in the garden!

  • Patty Pan are one of my favorite summer squashes. I will be sure to try adding them to a risotto!

    • I liked it best when I added mix of yellow, green and pattypan squashes – purely for the colour and the way they blended into the rice. delic!

    • And good to hear from you too! How’s that wonderful Florida weather? mind you we have had a very un-English summer – it’s been warm and sunny 🙂 and thank you for your kind words

      • Yes! I heard you’re summer has been sooooooo wonderful! Even Ireland (where my daughter’s fiancé’s fam live) has been sunny…they don’t know what to do with themselves! LOL!

  • Around here we slice them into 1/2″ thick discs and grill them with a little seasoning to serve on the side of grilled steak or chicken.

  • Wonderful post. lots of people i know in here and some I do not who i shall have to introduce myself to.. and all for the sake of a miniature pumpkin.. how dreamy!! c

  • Darn it, we were so hectic at the beginning of August that I missed your initial post! We tried growing these once, and like so many others, haven’t tried again. I quite like them though – when I was growing up, my mother used to slice up small ones and stir fry them in garlic and oyster sauce – I think they need a lot of flavour added to them! 🙂

  • Missed that post too! But I wish I could send you a pic of the twins I had growing. They were like siamese twin patties. I’m on for olive oil, garlic and loads of basil. Then a few raw tomatoes at the end just warmed up. They get quite huge- I’ve got one heading towards the size of the Starship Enterprise!

  • Hugely creative post — and completely new to me. I can’t get over the fact that the skin is edible because it looks so much like a gourd (with a hard exterior). I know I’m late on the recipe idea, but I love squash (in a tomato sauce) with pasta. I wonder if Patty Pans can be cut up, sauteed in some olive oil with garlic, then cooked with plum tomatoes in puree, parsley, oregano, red pepper, and served over spinach fettucine. If I see any on this side of the Atlantic, I’ll give it a try.

  • Hi Claire. LOVE this post and the roundup of comments! Thanks for the shout out, even though my contribution was a bit facetious! Out of all the cooking tips suggested, my choice would be the butter and herbs technique. One can’t go wrong with butter. Very intrigued by the cake suggestion too.

  • Methinks you have put a smile on a lot of faces and I can’t wait to try your risotto! Love the fact you introduced the pattypan with heat already off – that would give a very fresh flavour to the dish! And I love vegetable risottos 🙂 ! Have to laugh at Celi calling these ‘miniature pumpkins’: true in Australia as well as New Zealand!! And guess what I just had for lunch: grilled garlicky pork paillard and these little monsters done just the way Celia has suggested 🙂 !!!

  • Wonderful post, Claire. Never say that the WordPress community isn’t willing to lend a helping had … er … recipe when needed. Glad you received so many great responses and I can’t wait to see which ones you’ll follow. That risotto does sound good, though. 🙂

  • Funny to have your post appear in my mailbox this morning as I had been thinking of you yesterday and wondering where you were. I never know what to do with pattypan squash so all the suggestions will come in handy. Risotto with anything in it is going to work for me!

  • I was away in Bogota at the beginning of August, so I missed you first post. Just went back to read it. Glad that I did. I’ve seen these at the supermarket but didn’t know that it was possible to grow them in the UK. Well done you, Claire!

  • Never heard about before .. very interesting and beautiful vegetable.
    Excellent introducing of the Patty Pan – love the name to … brilliant the way you have put the post together your friends option about it and their recipe. Risotto I haven’t done for a very long time .. something for next weekend maybe. Will have a look for a Patty Pan over here .. and add some chicken to the risotto.

    • Oh there’s been a few get aways already…. they headed to the compost bin but thinking about it I could add the stick on googly eyes and use them as decorations 🙂 That’s a win-win! Morning Miss Marie, I need to catch up on life round your way !

  • What would we do without our blogging friends. It sounds like you have lots of delicious patty pan in your future with all the suggestions.

  • When I happen on any pretty-looking sort of squash that remains rather petite though fully grown, I immediately think it’s a good candidate for stuffing and roasting, whether with a rice or quinoa or steel-cut oats sort of filling or a minced-meaty sort, or simply filled with other roasting-friendly veg. In any event, a good slow roast with plenty of butter and seasonings ought to make the insides delicious and whatever part of the squash ‘container’ one wants to eat quite yummy as well.

    Though, to be quite clear, I think *all* of the suggestions others have made sound perfectly dandy! What’s not to love about a tender little vegetable like this? To those who find it bland, I simply say that many of my favorite foods are bland on their own, texturally or in flavor or both, but nearly all bland foods make terrific ‘carriers’ and supporting players to the dramatic gifts of all of the not-so-bland fare we crave.

    😀 Grinning with, as always, my mouth wide open!

  • Hi Claire – loved the way you did this post! I grew some for the first time this year, but all of my veg suffered in the heat and basically just stopped producing, so we had the grand total of four from four plants! Better than nothing though! Enjoy the rest of your little Flying Saucers!

  • Claire, once again you have captured the “alien essence” of these little orbs. Thanks for the mention by the way. I have really enjoyed your posts about the patty pan and variations. My plants are not very prolific, but I have had a few this summer and they were delicious. If my garden had more little aliens to offer I would love to try out some of the wonderful ideas your readers have provided. I suspect, due to you, there will be many more gardeners planting patty pan next spring.

  • I must say that I think your photograph above is as attractive as any fine portion could hope to be, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks so much.

  • Isn’t it thrilling to discover a new vegetable and realize it has so much versatility. Clearly I’m in favor of steaming because at heart I must be quite lazy–or at least uninspired. LOL! Stuffed squash blossoms, in quiche, risotto! Thank you, Claire, you’ve inspired me to at least move up from steaming to lots of butter and herbs! That really does sound delicious to me! 🙂

    • I think steaming doesn’t sound lazy at all – it sounds healthy !! Mind you that is unless you smother them in butter afterwards 🙂 Hope life is good for you x

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