Pattypan squash, red Chinese noodle bean and chioggia beets

Last week I brought home this beautiful pattypan squash from the FoodShare garden. Yellow Pattypan, also known as “scallop squash” or “custard squash”, is a squash noted for its bright yellow colour, small to medium size, and round scalloped edges. Pattypan squash also come in green, white and tiger (marbled) varieties. Pattypan squash are very low in calories but are also a good source of folate, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A and C. Up until working at the garden, I had never seen or heard of this squash, so I was excited to take it home and try it. I decided to steam it (5 mins) and after it cooled, I cut the top off and with a melon baller, I scooped out the flesh. I then chopped up some onion and bacon, and lightly chopped the squash meat and fried them up together, basically until the onions softened a little. I mixed in some breadcrumbs (I’d prefer to use panko, but I was out) and garlic powder and stuffed the mixture back into the pattypan – yes, it will be overflowing! Set your masterpiece on a baking sheet and lightly cover with foil and bake at 350 C. I baked it for about 15 minutes. It was delicious! Hubby really liked it too. The flavour is very much like zucchini, but in a prettier form. The skin isn’t thick and hard so you could just cut it up and stir fry it and it would still be tender.

So of course this week when we harvested 14lbs of food, I opted to take another, larger, patttypan. The other interesting choice I had was the Trumpet Squash (aka Trombetta di Albenga or Tromboncino). Liz told me that it also tasted like zucchini, but just not as meaty. I’ll take one next time and let you know how it tastes. Anyway, I came home with a pattypan and a stick of rhubarb.

Earlier this week, I helped Anna harvest lots of goodies for the kitchen at PARC. One thing we harvested that was also new to me was the Red Chinese Noodle Bean (aka Asian Long Bean).

Instead of donating it to the kitchen, Anna suggested I take them home and taste them. The beans are obviously very long, but the seed packet said that they are very tender and not stringy. I gave them a rinse, cut each bean into 2″ segments and fried them out with a bit of oil. The great thing about this bean is that it retains it’s deep purple colour. I fried until it puckered a little, but it was still crunchy – another bonus. Right, I also cubed some tofu and fried it with the beans. After removing the beans from the pan, I added some green onion (whites only), minced ginger, garlic and chilli paste – be quick because you don’t want anything to burn! You basically just want to bring out the aromatics. Once that’s happened, turn off the heat, toss in the beans and tofu and then add some dark soya sauce. It was good – two thumbs up! This Szechuan recipe can be found here.

You’ll notice some other vegetables on my plate. I finally decided to harvest some of my beets. The Bull’s Blood beets still seem very small. I’m not sure if they just need more space, or if they take longer to mature. The sane beets up at the farm are decent in size, but they are grown in the ground. The Chioggia  beets were a cute size, so I pulled a few of those. I love the red and white stripes! During the roasting, the red does bleed onto the white, so it comes out as a light red.

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