Return of the Pattypan
There she was… gleaming and yellow in the morning sun, delicately curved, coyly beckoning at the bottom of the squash crate…. Who could resist her? The rest of the farmers’ market bounty blurred around her scalloped edge. I was completely enchanted. In a word: transfixed.
A little over a month ago I let you all in on Romeo’s obsession with pattypan squashes. Well last week, these “tastes of bursting sunshine” debuted at my local farmers’ market to my everlasting glee. The pattypans at the Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market are a good deal larger than baby pattypans I purchased at Harris Teeter, and (extra bonus) they are 100% guilt-free local veggies.
My kitchen was overflowing with farmers’ market goodies and I decided to use the pattypans as a vehicle for enjoying another market veggie that I have a hard time resisting this spring – swiss chard.
Swiss Chard and Onion Stuffed Pattypans
First I cut five pattypans in half along the scalloped edge like so. I scooped a little divot of the soft seedlings out of the pattypan halves and drizzled a cap-full of olive oil into a flat-bottom frying pan. I placed the pattypan halves scooped-side down in the pan for about 5 minutes on medium heat. I sprinkled the conical tops of the pattypans with salt, red pepper flakes, and a little turmeric, then I flipped the pattypans over and cooked for about five more minutes.
Meanwhile, I caramelized two small red onions in a separate pan. After the onions had fully caramelized I sprinkled them with salt, cumin, and a splash of port wine. I then added halved grape tomatoes to the onions and turned the heat up for a minute to cook away the port before removing them from the stove.
Having removed both the pattypans and the onions from heat, I quickly cut my bundle of swiss chard into bite-sized pieces and threw the chard into the same frying pan I’d used to cook the pattypan along with a few cloves of diced garlic. I spiced the chard up as it wilted with some red pepper flakes and nutritional yeast (which gave the chard a little bit of a Parmesan-like depth). I then arranged the chard and onion mixture on top of the pattypan halves, scooped-side facing up. It made for a delightful summery stuffed squash dish, very fancy looking indeed. Next time I might try combining my chickpea fetish with this burgeoning pattypan obsession…. I’ll keep you all in the loop.
I bought nine more pattypans at the market on Saturday. Romeo says I might have a little bit of a problem. At least I’m spreading the love.