25 July 2010

Pâtissons farcis au riz et à l'ail

More about artwork and travels in the north tomorrow and the following days. Yesterday we spent a quiet but busy day in Saint-Aignan. We all needed and deserved the rest, and that includes Walt, who sanded the walls upstairs, mowed the lawn, walked the dog twice a day, and tended the garden all by himself while I was on the road.

Hollow out the steamed patty-pan squash and
peel, seed, and dice a tomato.

We got two big patty-pan squashes out of the garden over the last couple of days. They were begging to be cooked, and they looked like a kind of squash that could be farci (stuffed) with a good result. Walt said he had eaten one earlier in the week that he cooked by steaming it, and that sounded like a good idea — so I did it too.

Patty-pan squashes stuffed with the squash flesh (seeds and all),
cooked rice, diced tomato, shallots, garlic, and herbs,
with grated parmesan cheese

A closer view

The two squashes just barely fit in the steamer basket (une marguerite in French, because it has a shape like a daisy) in the bottom of our biggest stock pot. They steamed for 15 or 20 minutes, until they were soft enough for me to be able to cut out the center and scoop out the flesh. It would be better to let them cool first, but I didn't have time. I burned my fingers.

Put the "caps" back on over the stuffing and
drizzle on some olive oil before baking.

The stuffing was improvised. Chop up a shallot or a small onion and sauté it in some olive oil. Add the scooped-out squash flesh, a diced tomato, and five cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped. Let all that cook together until it dries out and begins to stick to the pan. At the last minute, add a cupful of cooked rice, some salt and pepper, a little (smoked) paprika, and a big bunch of herbs, chopped. Parsley and basil are good but other herbs could be good too.

Here's one fresh out of the oven, in a serving dish.

Take the stuffing off the heat and when it has cooled slightly, mix in a half a cup or more of finely grated parmesan (or other) cheese. Spoon the stuffing into the hollowed-out patty-pan squash shells. It doesn't matter much, by the way, if in the scooping-out process you end up making a hole in the bottom of the squash. The stuffing is not liquid and it will hold together.

Sliced into wedges, it's ready to eat.
Don't forget the grated cheese.

Put the "caps" back on the stuffed squashes. Drizzle some olive oil over them, and grind some black pepper over them if you want. Set them side by side in a big baking dish and put them in the oven at 400ºF/200ºC for 15 or 20 minutes until they look done. Everything is already cooked, so they won't take too long. If you've let the stuffed squashes cool completely before putting them in the oven, bake them longer at a lower temperature so that they will heat through without scorching.

Stuffed squash with a turkey sausage
and some whole-grain bread

That's it. Cut each squash into four or even six wedges and serve. We had ours with grilled boudins blancs (white poultry sausages in this case) that contained chopped ceps (cèpes in French, Boletus edulis in Latin), which are also called porcini mushrooms in some countries.

The stuffed squash and sausages were a good combo, but serve the stuffed patty-pans with whatever you want, or have them as a main course. the patty-pan squash tastes a little bit like an artichoke.


  1. my my my.... very interesting... looks yummy

  2. P.S.
    I hope it's okay for me to post this, but, for anyone interested in seeing a photo of CHM's grandfather, he is here in this story... which seems to be about CHM's donation to a museum in Péronne, last year :))


  3. Thanks Judith, it is a "belle histoire" indeed and really nice to see CHM in picture.

  4. Judy, posting that link is fine. I should have done it.

  5. Nadege, it's fun to see both CHMs in the pictures, eh?:))

    Ken, from your blog post, I have the impression the museum to which CHM made the donations this time, is not the same one as in this article, right? Is the one from this time actually in Fins ... did you say?

  6. Hi Judy,

    No. The pictures in Ken's blog are in the church at Fins where my grandfather was born and lived until he was thirteen years old when he left for Péronne to study to become a painter. Consequently all my donations have been to Péronne, a small town whereas Fins is just a very small village.

  7. My mother used to stuff marrows in a similar way, cutting and peeling 2" rings off the vegetable to stuff it. (My father used to grow them in the greenhouse and there would be some fierce competition in the village as to who could grow the biggest.)

    Stuffed marrow would be served with pork chops or sausages. She would also stuff rings of it with a sort of bolognese meat mixture, then put a cheese sauce on top before baking it in the oven.

    Eating stuffed marrow in one of my fondest childhood memories but I haven't made it myself for years. We don't grow marrows and they are really expensive to buy.

  8. Jean, we Americans don't really know what marrows are. Are they overgrown courgettes/zucchini? Or are they a different squash entirely? They're not winter squash, are they? Whatever, I'm sure they are good.

  9. Thank you, thank you. We're now getting "pâtissons" from our AMAP and I was at a loss as to what to do with them.
    I've been disappointed in the courgettes (yellow, green, more squash-like white, round, ...) They're either too big and only good for stuffing, or thick-skinned, which is why I think the guy is calling other squash "courgettes", thinking it'll go over better.

  10. Thanks for posting this, Ken! We have huge patty pans and I was kind of wondering what to do with them. I stuffed regular zucchini with ground turkey and Greek spices last week...I'll try the same thing with our patty pans.


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