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Slice it, saute it and pretend it’s a chicken cutlet

I’m serious. We had the most amazing dinner on Sunday night cooked, almost exclusively, out of a friend’s vegetable garden. And the most inspiring dish to me was the white scallop squash. It was sliced horizontally and sauteed. Given it’s color and consistency, it’s a prime candidate to replace chicken with a vegetable that might not otherwise touch, in some of your kid’s favorite chicken recipes.

Summer squash are one of the most gratifying things to grow. They grow quickly, need very little care, and produce beautiful vegetables.

This year, one of our most prolific types of squash are our white scallops. Although they look like overgrown pattypans, I believe (if my seed catalog is to be believed) that they are a different type of squash. They range in size from as small as a saucer to as large as a dinner plate.

They’re lovely vegetables, and our NSA members and farmers’ market customers are always drawn to them. I’ve also gotten lots of questions about how to prepare them. These are summer squashes, which means you treat them a lot like a zucchini. You don’t need to peel the squash. They do contain a seed pocket in the middle, so cutting the squash in half (either horizontally or vertically) and scooping out the seeds first is a good thing to do. Once that’s done, you can:

  • Pan Fry
  • Grill
  • Steam
  • Saute
  • Bake
  • Roast
  • Shred

Pan frying is one of the simplest ways to prepare the squash, and it’s my favorite. There’s not really a recipe involved. Cut the squash in half vertically and scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash (about 1/2 inch thick). Heat a frying pan to medium high. Pour a little oil (I like half olive oil and half butter) into the pan. Cook the squash for several minutes on each side, until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

The squash can be topped with chopped herbs, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, sauteed garlic and onions, or anything else you’d like. The scalloped profile of each piece makes for a beautiful dish. Enjoy!


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