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.
(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
For the Bruschetta:
- Dice tomatoes, spring onion bulbs, onion greens, and ramps.
- 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.
- Mix all diced ingredients together with pickling liquid, champagne vinegar, herbs, and seasoning.
- Add olive oil, mix well.
For the Pattypan
- 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.
- Heat a grill until very hot, nearly smoking.
- 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.
- When squash is finished, stuff with bruschetta and prosciutto. Garnish with a leaf of basil
© 2010 Jonathan Meter and Jessica Hertle