Squash is commonly thought of as a fall vegetable, but there are also some great varietals that are at their best during the summertime. One such squash in the pattypan squash, also known as sunburst squash. This oddly shaped vegetable, which somewhat resembles a flying saucer, comes in yellow, green and white varieties.
When eaten young, pattypan squash is extremely tender and delicate in flavor. It is also a very healthy addition to diet offering a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. It provides several antioxidants including Vitamin C and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. It is also a good source of folate, magnesium, niacin, and vitamin A. The exterior of pattypan squash is especially rich in nutrients, so make sure to leave the skin intact when serving. In addition to being nutrient dense, it is also figure friendly containing no fat and a mere 25 calories per cup.
Pattypan squash is delicious on it’s own, simply sliced and pan sautéed with some olive oil, salt and pepper. It can also be incorporated into other dishes or served as a side. Here is a tasty, yet incredibly simple recipe from Cooking Light.
Sautéed Baby Squash with Basil & Feta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups baby pattypan squash, halved (about 18 ounces)
- 2 cups sliced leek (about 2)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat; heat 20 seconds. Add squash and leek to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in salt and pepper.
3. Transfer squash mixture to a serving platter. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.
Assistance provided by Allison van Camp