In my constant quest to make use of summer’s bounty of seasonal ingredients I have become a patty pan squash enthusiast! Our local farmer’s market has been growing an abundance of patty pans; these miniature squash, also known as scallop or button, grow in lots of mini squash sizes and a variety of vibrant colors.  They have a nice mild flavor with a firmer texture than their familiar green and yellow zucchini cousins.  You can eat them chopped up raw in a salad, sauté them or, my favorite, grill them!  Below is a recipe that I have prepared several times this season that makes for a delicious accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken – or toss with your favorite whole grain pasta. INGREDIENTS: 10 small or 6-8 medium patty pan squash 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 garlic cloves ⅓ cup of basil torn or chiffonade ⅓ cup of feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste DIRECTIONS: Start by cutting the patty pans into even pieces. I have found these squash can vary in size from almost bite size to palm size.  (I love the small ones the best!)  If they are very small I recommend leaving them whole or cutting them in half, but the medium or larger ones can be quartered or even cut in to six or eight pieces; just be sure you are consistent so they cook evenly. Next, crush 2 garlic cloves in a medium size bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper; add the patty pan pieces and toss with half of the basil. Place patty pans on the pre-heated grill, close the cover and leave them alone for approx. 3 minutes. (I love to use my trusty grill basket when grilling veggies.  If you don’t have a grill basket I recommend using a piece of foil on the grill to ensure you don’t loose any patty pans through your grill grates.)   Check the squash periodically and rotate to ensure they cook evenly and get some nice grill marks on all sides. Total grill time is approx. 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your patty pan pieces. Remove the patty pans from the grill and place back in the original bowl.  Top with feta cheese, remaining basil and crushed garlic clove; toss and serve. Enjoy! — Rachel

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