Patty pans

Just like courgettes but they look more interesting.

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Last year I grew patty pans for the first time. Part of the squash (Cucurbita pepo) family, they were really easy to grow – just like courgettes. It was nice to surprise people with the cute yellow vegetables (technically fruit) as most of my friends had not come across them before.

 

They need a fair bit of room, as they spread far and wide throughout the vegetable beds, and for the same reason, don’t plant too many or you really will have more than just a glut. You can also train them to grow upwards on canes or obelisks, something we are trying this year, recycling tatty old structures that used to be in the main garden. Like most vegetables they prefer rich soil, and make sure you water well, particularly in hot, dry weather, avoiding the leaves. Using a mulch will help keep more moisture in the soil. I harvested mine when they were pretty small as I prefer the texture of the baby patty pans and used them in the same way as I use courgettes – roasted with olive oil and garlic, grated into stews, made into little fritters, and even used in cakes with lemon. 

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