Some squash are almost too pretty to eat. And by pretty, I do refer to this warted green goblin of a squash that might belong on the front porch of a haunted house.
It looks like a character out of a Tolkien novel — at once fascinating and weird — but with Halloween just around the corner, weird is good.
Also known as granny squash or pattypan squash, the French scallop is a saucer-shaped summer squash with flattened, scalloped edges. Its French name, pâtisson, comes from the Provençal word for a cake made in a scalloped mold. Patisson Strie (Cucurbita pepo) is a French heirloom variety with pale green skin and varied striations. At maturity the warts and ridges are more pronounced and beautifully grotesque, inviting the tactile curiosity of holding these cucurbits in your hands.
Some might see them as merely fall decoration, like the ones you see for sale at the supermarket this time of year — but mine are very edible, quite delicious, and I don’t think they’ll make it all the way through fall as simply decoration.
They’ll eventually make their way into my stomach though. After a prolific late-summer harvest, I’ve got a hefty basket of these pattypans stashed away for gratins, casseroles and cupcakes, even a bubbling stew in my cauldron — all of which make perfect fall comfort food. Warts, wattles and all.