The Taste of Bursting Sunshine


One of the palates I attempt to cater to is that of Romeo, my bf.  Romeo is a rather demanding discerning eater. He doesn’t like it when I add diced garlic to a dish.  Romeo prefers garlic minced with the pampered chef garlic press that lives in our kitchen (which, to be honest, is hands-down the best garlic press I have ever used, lemme tell you). I comply with this demand suggestion. Romeo prefers his meals more gently spiced than I like mine. (To be fair some like it hot, and some like it hotter still, and I represent a dot somewhere near the hot-hot-hot end of the bland-to-razzle dazzle spicy continuum. This I admit.) I’ve tried to tone down the hotness for Romeo’s wimpy sensitive taste buds, and with occasional exceptions, I usually succeed in a palatable compromise for the both of us.

There is one thing that Romeo had asked for since I first took on the position of his chef-in-chief (or “kitchen dictator” as Romeo insists on calling me) that for a while absolutely bewildered me:  “flying saucer squashes.”

The conversation we had on several occasions always went something like this:

Maids: Do you want anything from the store?

Romeo (smiling and excited): Yes. Bring me the flying-saucer-squashes so we can use them in a curry.  They taste like bursts of sunshine.

Maids (genuinely curious):  What do you mean?

Romeo (short temper spent, yelling now): Buy those little yellow flying saucer squashes at the grocery store so we can put them in curry and they’ll taste like sunshine!

Maids: I don’t know what you mean by flying saucer squashes! Are they thin skinned or thick skinned? Summer or winter?

Romeo (frustrated and stamping both feet): They’re summer squashes that look like baby flying saucers and taste like sunshine! God!

I know he’s adorable, but that wasn’t much to go on, right?  Especially since  I’d never before encountered flying saucer-like  squashes.  I knew, however, that I needed to address Romeo’s unrequited craving for a summer squash that looked like a flying saucer and tasted like sunshine.

Recently, after over a year and a half of being unable to fulfill this request, I had a follow-up investigatory conversation with with Edouble and Miked (who have been feeding Romeo for far longer than I).  Edouble filled me in:  these squashes, for which both Edouble and Romeo have a special affinity, are commonly known as sunburst squashes.  They are small and round with scalloped tops and they are usually available only in the summer season.

More research yielded further knowledge: the pattypan squash (A.K.A. white squash/button squash/sunburst squash) comes in yellow, white, and green colors, is most tender when immature, and is often served  fried, curried, and stuffed.  It sounded delicious, and I was on a mission to make a curry with the pattypan as the M.V.I. (Most Valuable Ingredient 😉 thanx ES commenter “LC”) of the dish.

My successful search for the pattypans and the recipe for the Pattypan Vegetable Thai Curry after the jump…

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