Thursday, August 14, 2014

Patty Pan Squash: A Five Minute Summer Supper

Patty Pan is that uniquely sculpted summer squash which resembles a miniature, pale green flying saucer. Not seen much in commercial supermarkets, Patty Pan is familiar to home gardeners and farmer's market habitues. It is prolific, affordable and nutritious, and its season is upon us!

Warm weather is an opportune time to practice minimalist food preparation. Patty Pan's pleasingly sweet, mild flavor makes it an ideal choice for a light, healthy summer dish which moves from stove to table in minutes. Any variety of summer squash is suitable for this recipe. When shopping, select squash which is unblemished, smooth skinned and not too large. 

** Five Minute Summer Squash Supper **


3 - 4 medium summer squash
2 + tablespoons olive oil
3 -  4 medium sized ripe tomatoes
sea salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
basil leaves as garnish


Wash squash and slice into strips; the thinner the slices the faster they will cook. Heat a heavy skillet over a medium flame and add just enough olive oil to cover the surface of the pan. Add squash and saute until slices are wilted and just tender.

While squash is cooking, slice the tomatoes and place in a layer in a serving bowl or platter.  Dry farmed Early Girls, which are somewhat acidic and intensely flavorful, provide a bright contrast to the squash. They are currently available in Northern California produce and farmer's markets.

When the squash is tender, spoon it over the tomato slices. Let the vegetables rest for a couple of minutes before serving to allow their flavors to mingle. Garnish with a little sea salt, cracked black pepper and fresh basil leaves.