I found baby zucchini and pattypan squash in the market yesterday. I know I can roast or grill them with some garlic and herbs, but wanted to see if anybody has a favorite recipe or way to prepare them to make the most of these seasonal treats. I plan to cook them tomorrow and serve with some simple grilled tenderloin steaks. Thanks!
my mother cuts them into paperthin slices using a vegetable peeler, tosses with pine nuts and a lemon vinaigrette and calls it salad. It's actually lovely to taste them raw like that; very subtle and fresh. And if you're a dab hand with the grater, you can keep their lovely profiles when you peel them.
I like the babies done super simply. If you have a wide pan with a tight fitting lid, it makes it easier. Put good butter, a few tablespoons of water and the squash in a pan. Add fresh herb sprigs of choice and salt. You are leaving the guys whole if the zukes are maybe 3 inches and 1/2 inch diameter and similar proportions for patties. Pan is tightly lidded. Turn up heat and watch for just a few minutes till water boils off and then give the little ones a chance to soak up the butter sludge. Plate and maybe grind some pepper. I find this imparts a little butter taste, concentrates the flavor of the young squash and picks up the scent of the herbs. I am a person who eats even raw garlic, but I find it overwhelms the unique sweetness of young squash.
When I find pattypan, I don't like to cut them up at all - they're so pretty! If they're big, I'll halve them, but for the most part, I'll trim the top and bottom off, parboil them, then give them a quick saute in butter, salt, pepper, maybe some diced shallots. They're so sweet and beautiful, it seems silly to ruin their shape!
Here's one I found here on chowhound last summer, part of a long thread on favorite recipes. I've never tried it with baby squash, but it is delicious with a mixture of summer squash and zucchini. Very, very easy too!
This fills an 8X8" sq. Pyrex baking dish.
Parboil about 2 lbs. of yellow summer squash (sliced about 1/4" thick) til just tender. Drain & mash.
1/2 stick (1/4 C.) melted butter
1/4 C. minced onion
1 beaten egg
1/2 C. grated sharp cheddar
1/2 C. sour cream
S&P to taste (keep in mind the topping is salty)
Mix and pour into buttered baking dish. Top with crushed buttery cracker crumbs (Ritz, Town House) or potato chips.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.