Best of Allotment Pattypan - Pickled pattypan squash and roasted Greek style summer squash


Pickled pattypan squash with thyme and chillie

"So you pay someone to make your face red?" asked husband when he came home tonight and I asked if my face was any different after my electro-current facial I had together with lovely exfoliation and masks and moisturising etc. Apparently very much the same, but a bit red. He did concede after some squeezing, that it looked a bit smoother.

I also had my almost non-existent eyebrows waxed and tinted. "You hhhave destrroyed them some time, no?" Asked the Eastern European beautician lifting her immaculate, dense eyebrows in astonishment and accusation? I tried to defend myself telling her that I'd never done anything particularly dramatic with them, that they'd always been a bit pathetic. How does one destroy eyebrows anyway.

So a tough evening on the beauty front, but I didn't let it depress me, because there are more important things in life like Pattypan Squash!

I had never even seen these flying saucer like lovely vegetables until a colleague who grows all kinds of things with his wife on their allotment brought some to work. There's been baskets of them and other fresh allotment goodies shared in the office kitchen this week. The guy walks round with his wicker basket like a little red riding hood. He says it's a win-win because this way he doesn't need to eat squash for the rest of his life.

So with our fishfriday salmon I decided to do a light side of Greek style oven baked summer squash with a tiny crumbling of feta on top and while waiting for dinner to cook I pickled the rest of the pattypan suash. My love for acid is no secret. Cover anything with vinegar and I will eat it.

You can use any herb combo you like. I was planning on dill for the pickled pattypan, but my dill bunch had died, so I used some dried chillies and thyme. For the roasted I went with my trusted combo of oregano and thyme. If you can get small pattypans it will make a prettier pickle and bake. Mine was a big one, so you can't see the lovely scalloped shape when it's sliced.

Roasted summer squash with thyme and feta chesse

Pickled Pattypan squash

1 pound of pattypan squash
1 small red onion
Fresh or dried chillies or a pinch of red pepper flakes
Fresh thyme sprigs
2/3 cup of white wine vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp sugar

Deseed the pattypan squash if you are using a big one. If yours are small, just slice into reasonably thin slices. I used a mandolin, but you can use a knife. The thinner you slice them the softer they will get, so if you like crunch, don't make them paper thin.

Peel and slice a small red onion.

Place the vinegar, water and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to boil. Mix so the sugar dissolves. Take off heat and leave to cool.

Lots of recipes include the added step of sprinkling the squash with salt in a colander a leaving to drain some of the moisture out. I actually skipped this step because my squash was really nice and dry and crunchy. Or maybe because I couldn't be bothered.

Either mix the squash, onion, chillies and herbs in a bowl and place in a jar, or you can layer the veg directly in a jar.

Pour the vinegar into the jar right to the top and refrigerate. It will be ready for eating in 48 hours and will keep for a couple of weeks.

Roasted summer squash with herbs and feta cheese

4 cups of cubes summer squash (I had a mix of courgette and pattypan squash)
Olive oil
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried oregano
Black pepper
Zest of a lemon
Handful of feta or goat cheese crumbled on top

Preheat your oven to 200C.

Cube the squash, you can remove the seeds if you are using large squash. Mix the squash with enough olive oil to lightly coat the cubes, add the herbs, lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and pour on a baking sheet.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until squash is cooked, but still a little bit al dente.

Crumble the feta on top and serve immediately.

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  1. What is the European weight for 4 cups of squash, please? I have some overgrown courgettes which would respond to these lovely recipes.

  2. Probably about 600 grams / 150g per cup. Courgettes would work great!