Steamed Patty Pan Squash with Basil and Sweet Butter
|Baby Patty Pan Squash from the Dane County Farmers Market|
I saw these adorable little babies at the White Rock Farmers Market in British Columbia back in July. I had to buy one because they were so cute and I was totally unfamiliar with them. I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't get around to actually doing anything with it (wedding planning madness and all) and it ended up spotty, mushy and in the trash. So when I saw them again, in even smaller form, at the Dane County Farmers Market earlier this month, I had to get some more to experiment with.
Of course the problem was that I had no idea what to do with patty pan squash. I searched around a bit and found many people who said to bake them like regular squash. But since my squash standby is always to bake them, I figured there had to be something else that would do justice to the cuteness factor of these. I did find this recipe for super cute eggs baked in patty pan squash but I figured my own were too small to stuff.
|Mixed Squash at the White Rock Farmers Market|
|Bowl of Patty Pan Squash from Dane County Market|
Somewhere along the way I found someone who suggested steaming them. Since I've been so crazy about steaming kale lately, with my Steamed Kale and Beet Salad and Steamed Greens with Poached Eggs I figured I would go ahead and try steaming these delicate little bits of sunshine. Since I also had a bunch of basil I thought I would try and incorporate that as well.
Uhm. Wow. Did that whole steaming thing ever work out well.
This was ridiculously awesome, and took like all of 8 minutes to do. It's sweet and savory with a hint of basil. Oh, and cheesy. So very wonderful and cheesy. Of course, if you can't handle dairy you can easily skip the cheese and it would still be fan-tabulous.
I ate it all on its own for lunch, but I'm sure it would be great as a side dish for dinner. I enjoyed it so much I bought another basket of patty pans to play around with this week. I may grill them, or saute them. They are so cheap (usually between $1-$2 per basket) that I don't mind spending a bit of cash to try and make these a gourmet side dish!
|Steaming squash without a steamer|
1 basket patty pan squash*
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
Approx. 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
Approx. 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese or Parmesan (optional)
pinch of salt
1. Scrub the patty pan squash under water. Trim the green top and bottom off the squash. There is no need to peel the squash, the outside is totally edible. Slice the sqaush about 1/2" thick.
2. Layer the squash slices in a steamer, or in a metal strainer set up over a pot of boiling water with a large lid on top. Steam for about 5 minutes, or until the squash slices soften and pale in colour slightly.
3. Transfer the squash into a bowl. Add the butter and mix until the butter melts and coats the squash. Sprinkle with sugar or drizzle with honey and salt. Top with grated cheese, speckle the chopped basil over the squash and enjoy!
Update Sept. 18, 2012 - I love these so much I've experimented some more, and have since made Thai Inspired "Posh" Patty Pan squash, a tangy, sauteed twist on these little guys.
I'd love to hear your suggestions for Patty Pan Squash, or summer squash in general! Please share if you have a favorite recipe or an idea :)
*OAS Information: If you have Oral Allergy Syndrome and generally have a problem with squash, you may find that the steaming the squash destroys the allergen protein, making it safe for you to eat. The heat, however is not very high so if you are very allergic you may want to boil or bake these at a higher heat, then season. If you are very allergic, you may want to avoid this one!
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