The Great Glut of Pattypan Squash Family Challenge

Post By: Andrew Buxton


Every budding gardener has tried growing zucchini. Reputation has it that zucchini is the easiest and most forgiving vegetable to grow if you are not too sure of your gardening abilities. I have in the past mostly grown the standard long green zucchini type, and have, through inattention, had some alarming results – great for naughty photos but not so good for eating. This year I decided to branch out into pattypan cultivation as one of my contributions to the cottage garden. With typical enthusiasm I sowed several mounds as instructed, and was pleasantly surprised that just about every seed germinated, survived and flourished. The inevitable result is a pattypan glut that has only just begun.


After giving several away (do zucchini recipients really appreciate the largess of gardeners?) I decided to create a meal based on as much of the rest of today’s harvest as I could manage. Dessert was a chocolate zucchini cake – the first time I have tried this with a pattypan rather than a regular zucchini. The flesh shredded easily and nicely, and I always leave in the seeds. As the wet ingredients were added (I used a standard zucchini cake recipe) the batter turned somewhat fizzy – something I have never encountered before. The cake came out of the oven looking and smelling like every other chocolate zucchini cake I have ever baked – so far so good. (Maybe I will try a spice cake next time.)



My main course was pattypan zucchini parmesan. The base is a home made concoction of garden fresh tomatoes (mostly San Marzano) oven roasted for about an hour at 350 with a little olive oil, garlic, and a dusting of sea salt. That alone is a worthwhile harvest season project, as the smell is out of this world and you can freeze the reduction. Layers of pan seared pattypan slices (about 5mm thick) done in a little olive oil and garlic (my motto is garlic with everything), pressed cottage cheese (ricotta would be good too) mixed with fresh grated parmesan and finely chopped fresh basil leaves (from the garden of course), then another pattypan layer, with a final layer of the tomatoes, covered by whatever grated cheese you fancy.


We like old sharp cheddar, to which we add a little (okay, a lot) more freshly grated parmesan. Our current favourite is Jensen Cheddar. Cook for about 45 minutes at 350, and serve over brown rice.


My other pattypan experiments have included breaded fried pattypan slices, penne with chopped pattypan and other fresh garden vegetables, and grated zucchini cooked down as the base for a cream like pasta sauce (of which, more another time). I am also freezing pattypan slices as part of our project to fill an entire freezer with garden produce. I also want to try my favourite vegetarian moussaka recipe (from The Moosewood Cookbook) but substituting pattypan slices for the eggplant, although our eggplant crop is coming on too and will be demanding attention soon enough.

The final verdict: two permanent additions to the Stanley Cottage menu and a decision to grow pattypan zucchinis in future seasons.




About stanleycottagegarden

We garden, we cook, sometimes we blog.
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4 Responses to The Great Glut of Pattypan Squash Family Challenge

  1. I’m envious of your beautiful squash (and melons), the squash vine borers destroyed mine this year! Thank you for ‘following’ my blog ~ Marsha

    • Hi Marsha same to you! Same problem here but with yellow-black striped cucumber bugs – that was the only melon that survived them. You have lovely photos on your site, I look forward to enjoying them. :) Erinn

      • That is too funny, because I did have ONE small watermelon that survived! Oh well…there’s always the next gardening seaon. :-)
        And I’m glad you enjoyed my photos, I have great fun taking them. ~ Marsha

  2. I stumbled across this at just the right time; I was just trying to figure out what to do with the pattypan that came in our box this week.

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