Patty pans are bright yellow and they turn green at the tips and their flesh is off-white, crisp, and juicy. They have a bright flavor with a sweet, grass-like finish. You can eat the entire plant, right down to the leaves and flowers. The larger they are, the tougher they become, so chose smaller ones; about two or three inches in diameter. You already know to steer clear of bruises, spots, and punctures, but also make sure to choose those that are bright in color.
Want a new spin to your old barbeque routine? Check out this patty pan recipe. This diverse squash works well raw in salads, on sandwiches, or on top of a pizza. Try them braised, steamed, roasted, and sautéed. Patty pans can even be used as thickening agents in soups and stews.
Though they peak in summer, patty pans are available any time of the year. They originated in Italy, however, most of the commercial production comes from Central and South America. Here in the US, they are generally found growing in small household gardens or at local farmers’ markets.
As a highly perishable veggie, the whole patty pan will last about five days in the fridge. After preparing the patty pan, store your leftovers in an air-tight container for up to three days.