If you’ve been stuck in a squash rut, routinely cultivating zucchini or crooknecks, try growing patty pan squash. What is patty pan squash and how do you grow it?
With a delicate, mild flavor, much akin to zucchini, the patty pan squash, also referred to as the scallop squash, is a small variety of summer squash. Lesser known than its relatives, yellow squash or zucchini, patty pans have a distinct shape which some people describe as similar to a flying saucer.
The fun shape of the fruit growing on patty pan squash plants may also be an enticement to getting the kids to eat their veggies. They can begin being eaten when only an inch or two (2.5-5 cm.) across, making them even more entertaining to kids’ taste buds. In fact, scallop squash are not as moist as crooknecks or zucchini and should be harvested when young and tender.
These little flying saucer shaped fruit may be white, green or buttery yellow in color and are round and flat with a scalloped edge, hence the name.
Scallop squash or patty pans should be grown in full sun, in rich, well-draining soil. Once the danger of frost has passed in your area, these little squash can be directly sown into the garden. They are usually planted in groups with two or three seeds per hill and spaced 2-3 feet (0.5-1 m.) apart. Thin them to one or two plants per hill once the seedlings attain a height of 2 or 3 inches (5-7.5 cm.) tall.
Give them plenty of room to grow like any squash; their vines spread 4-6 feet (1-2 m.). The fruit should mature between 49 and 54 days. Keep the squash watered well. There are no secret scallop squash growing tips; the plants are relatively easy to grow.
There are both open-pollinated, those pollinated via insects or wind, and hybrid varieties of scallop squash available. Hybrid varieties are bred to insure that the seeds have known specific traits while open-pollinated varieties are fertilized via an uncontrolled source, which may result in a plant that doesn’t breed true. That said, there are some open pollinators that result in true plants from generation to generation and we call them heirloom varieties.
The choice to grow heirloom or hybrid is yours. Here are some popular hybrid varieties:
Winners amongst heirlooms include:
Plants are prolific and will produce several dozen squash each. Within days of flowering, it is very likely that you will have fruit that is sizeable enough to harvest. Pick once the color changes from green to golden yellow but while the fruit is still small (2-4 inches (5-10 cm.)). Patty pans can grow to 7 inches (18 cm.) across but get rather tough the larger they get.
You can prepare patty pans just as you would any squash. They can be sliced, diced, braised, grilled, fried, roasted, or stuffed. Steam small ones whole for four to six minutes. Scallop squash even make edible, useful serving bowls. Just scoop out the center while either raw or cooked and fill with whatever your heart desires.
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If you've spotted adorable patty pan squash at the market, grab a bag and get cooking! Patty pan squash are small and mild-flavored like zucchini or summer squash. Try roasting halved squash in the oven with olive oil and herbs or fill whole patty pan squash with a cheese mixture before baking them. If you like a smoky flavor, toss pieces of patty pan squash on the grill or just cook them in a skillet on the stove if you're in a hurry.
Growing summer squash is one of my favorites for my vegetable garden. Summer squashes are pretty hardy and, more often than not, you’ll have more than you can use (but I have shared some recipes at the end of this post).
So what is summer squash? Summer squash is a squash grown during the warm season, after any frost. The biggest difference between summer and winter squash is that summer squash is picked when it is tender you do not need to wait until the outer rind hardens like winter squash. Summer squash varieties include zucchini, yellow crook neck squash, yellow straight squash, scallop squash (or patty pan) and a few other miscellaneous squashes. Not only are summer squashes tasty…they are beautiful!
I recommend trying at least one variety you’ve never had before! But WARNING , don’t plant more than one summer squash plant per family member unless you are selling or plan to give a lot away!
Now you’re ready to grow, harvest, store and cook summer squash! Happy Harvesting!
Patty pan or scallop squash is a small, saucer-shaped warm-season squash that usually grows to no more than 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Patty pan squashes look something like a toy top. They can be white to creamy colored or various shades of green or yellow. Patty pans are less moist than other summer squashes such as zucchini. They actually grow more firm as they ripen similar to winter squashes, so they are best harvested and eaten when they are young and tender.
Cook. Place a whole, washed patty pan in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for about 4 to 5 minutes or until just tender pierced with a fork. Patty pans can also be quartered and brushed with olive oil and roasted for about 10 minutes. Patty pan slices can be sautéed until just tender. They can also be stuffed with chopped onion, meat, cheese, and spices and baked.
Grow. Patty pan squashes are for summer growing and require 45 to 55 frost-free days to reach harvest. Most patty pans have an open vining habit but rarely stand more than 3 feet tall. Squash require full sun and regular deep watering.
• Peter Pan is well scalloped from 2½ to 3 inches across at harvest. Peter Pan is light green with a small blossom end scar. Peter Pan has a pale green flesh and is meaty. Allow 50 frost-free days to grow and harvest Peter Pan.
• Scallopini is a scalloped-shaped squash with medium fluting 2½ to 3 inches across at harvest. Scallopini has dark green speckled skin similar to a zucchini. Scallopini has a sweet, nut-like flavor. Allow 52 frost-free days to grow and harvest scallopini.
• Sunburst is a hybrid medium-sized deeply scalloped squash about 2½ to 3 inches across. Sunburst has a bright yellow skin with a dark green sunburst on both the blossom and stem ends. Sunburst has a creamy white flesh and a delicate sweet, buttery flavor. Sunburst requires 52 frost-free days to mature.
• Sunny Delight (pictured above) is a medum-size hybrid scallop squash about 2½ to 3 inches across, very similar to Sunburst but without the green marking at the blossom and stem ends. Sunny Delight is light butter yellow colored and and flavorful. This squash requires 45 frost-free days to mature.
• Benning’s Green Tint is scallop-shaped from 2 to 2½ inches deep and 3 to 4 inches across at havest. This squash has a pale green skin and flesh and is thick and tender. Benning’s Green Tint is a long producer and is ready for harvest after 55 frost-free days.
• White Bush, also called White Patty Pan and Early White Bush, is a pale green skinned squash that turns to near white by harvest time. White Bush is 2½ to 3 inches deep and 5 to 7 inches across, quite large for a patty pan. The flesh is white, tender, and succulent. White Bush requires 55 frost-free days to harvest.
• Wood’s Earliest Prolific is slightly scalloped 2 to 2½ inches deep and 3 to 4 inches in diameter. The skin is pale green to pale greenish-white at maturity. Wood’s Earliest produces throughout the season and requires 50 frost-free days to harvest.
• Yellow Bush, also called Golden Bush, Early Yellow Bush, and Yellow Custard, is deeply scalloped about 3 inches deep and 5 inches across. Yellow Bush has a deep yellow skin mottled with pale yellow. It’s flesh is yellowish-white and flavorful. Yellow Bush requires 60 days to harvest.
Patty pan squashes are also known as cymling, custard marrow, or custard squash. The name patty pan comes from an old-style pan for baking pattys. The word cymling comes from the English simnal cake which is fluted. The French call patty pan squash pâtisson which is a Provençal word for a cake made in a scalloped mold.
Cooking patty pan squash is something that you can do by sauteing it over high heat. Cook patty pan squash with help from the Director of Culinary Operations for Guckenheimer in this free video clip..
Expert: Larry Leibowitz.
Bio: Larry (Lawrence) Leibowitz currently holds the position of Director of Culinary Operations for Guckenheimer..
Filmmaker: Brandon Somerton.
Series Description: Summer is an excellent opportunity for a great many things, including a variety of different, delicious, seasonal foods. Learn about eating seasonally and enjoying summer food with help from the Director of Culinary Operations for Guckenheimer in this free video series.
Video taken from the channel: cookingguide
¾ lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced carrots
¾ cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced (or ½ tsp. garlic powder)
1 28 oz. can tomatoes (or 3½ cups fresh tomatoes, chopped)
1 16 oz. can chili or kidney beans, drained (or 2 cups, cooked from scratch)
2 cups of water
1½ Tbsps. chili powder
¾ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt, if desired
2 cups diced yellow or zucchini squash
Directions: Cook ground beef or ground turkey in a large pot over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain off fat. Add onions, carrots, green bell peppers, and garlic. Cover and cook over low heat until onion is softened, about 8 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, beans, water, chili powder, oregano, and salt. Cook, uncovered until chili comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add squash and simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes longer. Serves 8.
Calories: 210 per serving
Fat: 4 grams per serving
If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at [email protected] or 1-888-656-9988.
Janis G. Hunter, Retired HGIC Nutrition Specialist, Clemson University
Katherine L. Cason, PhD, Former Professor, State Program Leader for Food Safety and Nutrition, Clemson University.
Chase McIntosh Baillie, Food Systems and Safety Agent, Clemson Extension, Clemson University
This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.
Love courgettes and butternut squash? Then why not try growing tasty patty pan squash too, with the help of our step by step guide.
Published: Friday, 3 May, 2019 at 11:01 am
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If you love eating courgettes and butternut squash, but fancy trying something a little different, why not grow patty pan squashes? They’re surprisingly easy to grow, despite their exotic appearance.
Patty pan squash can be raised from seed in May, to be planted out once frosts have passed, usually in late May or early June. Young plants may need extra protection on cold nights, so have bell cloches or fleece to hand, just in case cool weather is forecast.
You’ll get the heaviest crops in a sunny, sheltered spot, but plenty of moisture and a well-fed soil are also essential. Improve the soil by digging in lots of well-rotted manure, your own garden compost or a proprietary soil improver.
Find out how to grow patty pan squashes, below.