Bruschetta in a Grilled Pattypan Squash

by BiteSizedJessica on July 14, 2010

Pattypan squash and hothouse tomatoes are two of the foods at the farmers market that most remind me of summer. Recently I’ve been getting the most incredible hothouse tomatoes from Kernan Farm’s stand at the St. Marks farmers market on Tuesdays. The tomatoes are red, juicy, plump and full of flavor. All you really have to add is a little salt, if that, and a tomato can turn into a meal on its own.

Zucchini and summer squash have always been favorites of mine, and pattypans are a smaller, sweeter, funnier shaped version. When grilled, they become tender, juicer and even sweeter than you would think a squash could be. Combined with tomatoes, I can’t imagine a more summery, fresh bite.

Because of my proximity to the St. Marks market and my obsession with those hothouse tomatoes, I’ve been making bruschetta for dinner every night that I’m not working. Jon and I usually eat it with crostini and that’s it. But the other night I stopped in at Veneiro’s, a little Italian butcher on 11th street, to buy the bread for the crostini. While there, the butcher convinced me to get some prosciutto as well. The addition of the salty, thinly sliced meat to our tangy tomato/crostini combo was delightful. We just sat on the fire escape, with the juices running down our faces. I was extremely pleased with myself.

The idea to stuff the little pattypans with bruschetta and prosciutto followed naturally from that dinner. It was an easy and irresistable bite that I couldn’t wait to eat.

Ingredients
(Makes 2o pieces)

20 pattypan squash, hollowed out and grilled
1/2 lb prosciutto
Basil, to garnish
2 hothouse tomatoes, large dice
1/2 bulb spring onion, diced
Greens of one spring onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, made into a paste
3 pickled ramps, diced
1 tbsp ramp pickling liquid
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Chopped Basil

Process:

For the Bruschetta:

      1. Dice tomatoes, spring onion bulbs, onion greens, and ramps.
      2. Make a paste out of the garlic cloves. First smash the cloves and remove any peel. Sprinkle with kosher salt and finely dice. Using the flat side of your knife, press down on the diced garlic repeatedly until they reach a paste-like consistency.
      3. Mix all diced ingredients together with pickling liquid, champagne vinegar, herbs,  and seasoning.
      4. Add olive oil, mix well.

Chopped Tomato © 2010 Jonathan Meter

For the Pattypan

      1. Cut off tops of pattypans. Using a small spoon, remove the insides of the pattypan, being careful not to destroy the structural integrity of the squash – it should be able to hold the filling without falling apart.
      2. Heat a grill until very hot, nearly smoking.
      3. Rub squash inside and out with olive oil, salt and pepper. When grill is hot, lay squash perpendicular to grill lines. Cover with a metal bowl so that the squash steams while it cooks. Rotate squash occasionally to ensure even cooking.
      4. When squash is finished, stuff with bruschetta and prosciutto. Garnish with a leaf of basil

© 2010 Jonathan Meter and Jessica Hertle

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

heidi July 14, 2010 at 9:08 am

OK, I give up. What is ramp pickling liquid?
Your recipe just might get me to try summer squash, not usually one of my favorites. I had too many of those ubiquitous overgrown zucchinis in my vegetable gardening days.
I LOVE the photo of Jess and the basil…which is one of my favorites.

Pengel July 14, 2010 at 10:32 am

looks delish!

did you use that basil to wipe the juices from your faces??

BiteSizedJessica July 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

Ramp pickling liquid is the pickling liquid I have from a huge bunch of ramps I pickled back when they were fresh. Ramps are only in season for a month or two every spring, and they’re so delicious fresh or pickled. I used vinegar, sugar, a little salt, hot pepper flakes, and a few other spices to pickle the ramps and preserve them. The pickling liquid is a little onion-y and acidic, and I’ve found works as a great vinegar substitute in some recipes.

BiteSizedJessica July 15, 2010 at 10:31 am

Yes. The leaf doubles as an edible napkin. Sop remaining juices off face, eat.

Dora Ficher July 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Oh Jess & Jon, my mouth is watering just reading the description of this bite, I LOVE the taste of prosciutto and tomatoes together. Yum!
Have to admit that I have never eaten pattypan squash but I’m sure the whole thing together is just scrumptious. Thanks for explaining about the ramp pickling liquid. Had no idea what it was. Agree with Heidi, the pic of Jess is wonderful! 🙂

my boyfriend cooks for me July 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Not surprisingly these are the exact ingredients we’ve been getting from our CSA the past couple of weeks. I love that the tomatoes are just raw here – farm fresh tomatoes are just too good with very little cooking! Basically what I’m saying is that this a perfect summer bite : )

BiteSizedJessica July 26, 2010 at 11:20 am

Thanks for your comments on the squash and tomatoes – I was definitely going for a bite of summer here, so happy to hear that it spoke that message to you! Tomatoes are possibly my favorite thing in the summer, we’ve been eating just the bruschetta on toasted bread for dinner almost every night.

Carolyn Jung July 27, 2010 at 11:41 pm

What a cool idea! And low-carb, too! 😉

Kathryn August 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I love squash- it tastes great and it’s healthy, too! Have you ever tried squash pear soup? It’s awesome!

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