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Friday 14th March 2008

A Taste of Yellow Patty Pan Squash stuffed with Lemon and Currant Quinoa

A Taste of Yellow Patty Pan Squash stuffed with Lemon and Currant Quinoa

I love visiting fruit and vegetable shops and seeing all the amazing colours lined up in large quantities. To me it is a stunning patchwork of delicious reds, oranges, yellows and greens. From bold yellow meyer lemons stacked up next to other shades of yellows and oranges of neighbouring citrus fruits and crates of apples in all their different colourful red blush and green hues.

Once past the fruit and into the salad section I delight in seeing the traffic light colours of capsicums, the beautiful bundles of radishes in white with pink tops, crimson and purples. It’s always a highlight of my week. I’m like a kid in a candy shop, often piling far too much in my trolley than we can possibly eat while it’s still at it’s freshest.

All my senses are overloaded on these Saturday morning shopping excursions by the colours, shapes and smells of our weekly shopping. If I’m lucky enough to spot something new, rare or unusual looking, I literally have to calm myself before I let out a screech with all the enthusiasm bellowing up inside - thereby avoiding possibly upsetting or scaring the other customers in the shop.

A Taste of Yellow Patty Pan Squash stuffed with Lemon and Currant Quinoa

Now I’m guessing many of you may not think my Patty Pan Squash are not all that unusual. They maybe quite common elsewhere, however, they aren’t found in most grocery shops or supermarkets in New Zealand even when in season. Although the range of produce in New Zealand is improving, it can still unfortunately be quite conservative, offering only the simplest of vegetables. This is possibly especially true living in the South Island as I do.

Simple vegetables, by which I mean your normal run-of-the-mill orange coloured carrots, broccoli, potatoes, savoy cabbage and iceberg lettuces. Even farmers markets, which offer plenty of wonderful organic vegetables, don’t really go beyond the usual main fare vegetables.

Labelling is also a huge problem. Most supermarkets won’t even share what variety their potatoes are, instead simply calling them “new potatoes”, “red skinned potatoes” or “gourmet potatoes” (by which they normally mean the tasteless boring old Nadine potato!) You really have no idea which variety of broccoli or cauliflower you are purchasing. Pumpkin is pumpkin, or so they would have you believe.

Therefore, when I see something like these Patty Pan Squash, Purple carrots or Asian eggplants - you can understand my excitement surely?!

A Taste of Yellow Patty Pan Squash stuffed with Lemon and Currant Quinoa

Ideally, it’s true, I would be growing more of my own vegetables. Especially these more unusual ones, therefore obviating the need or desire to buy them. This is definitely on my list of goals. Unfortunately, sometimes I tend to flitter from one idea to another a bit too much and miss the opportunity. I have, however, grown patty pan squash before and with good success, so I definitely need to make this a higher priority and reap in the bountiful rewards.

A Taste of Yellow Patty Pan Squash stuffed with Lemon and Currant Quinoa

When I saw these brilliant yellow cuties, I couldn’t resist them and I knew they would be perfect for a cause dear to my heart.
That is Barbara’s “A Taste of Yellow” event in conjunction with Lance Armstrong’s Foundation and LiveSTRONGday.
LiveSTRONGday is to be held on the 13th of May this year. It is a day to remember and support all those who live or have lived with the effects of cancer. Not only those who have or have had to deal physically themselves with the disease, but their families and friends too.

If you feel passionate about this cause too and would like to support this worthy event, please head over to Barbara’s blog for the complete run down and competition details. Yes, this year’s “A Taste of Yellow” also includes a photo competition with prize! Entries must be cooked specifically for the event and include a yellow ingredient / element of your choosing. Good Luck!

A Taste of Yellow Patty Pan Squash stuffed with Lemon and Currant Quinoa

  • Patty Pan Squash stuffed with Lemon and Currant Quinoa

  • 8 to 12 patty pan squash
  • 1/2 cup of raw quinoa, cooked (you could use brown rice if you prefer)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of dried currants
  • a handful of freshly chopped coriander
  • 1/4 cup of freshly toasted sunflower seeds
  • a good pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper
  • the grated zest of 1 lemon
  • extra olive oil to drizzle
  • salad leaves, to serve
  1. Cook your quinoa in boiling salted water until tender, drain and set aside.
  2. Rinse and clean the squash, cut the tops off about 1/3 of the way down, leaving the stalk intact for presentation if you desire.
  3. Trim the base so that the squash sits nicely without falling over.
  4. Scoop out the flesh with a small spoon, (a melon baller is perfect for this!) leaving shells about 1/3 of an inch thick.
  5. Chop the scooped out flesh finely and put aside.
  6. Parboil the squash shells in boiling water for a couple of minutes, so they soften slightly.
  7. Stop the cooking by plunging the shells into ice cold water, drain well and set aside.
  8. In a frying pan over medium heat, sweat the onion with the oil until transparent.
  9. Add the finely chopped squash and heat through.
  10. Add the cooked quinoa, coriander, currants and stir through to combine.
  11. Remove from the heat and fold through the remaining ingredients.
  12. Taste and season as required and set aside to cool.
  13. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C
  14. Take each squash shell and fill with the quinoa mixture.
  15. Place each filled squash, covered with their tops, into a baking dish. Drizzle with a little extra oil and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through when speared with a skewer.
  16. Serve 2 or 3 squash with a few salad leaves on the side for a delicious starter to any meal.
  17. NB: you most likely will have stuffing left over, but that’s ok. It’s delicious on it’s own or try stuffing some into other vegetables. Tomatoes, zucchini, red onions, eggplant, capsicum would all work beautifully.



  1. how incredibly gorgeous! you’re sure to win the photo contest with a couple of these puppies! we do live in an area where we can get an incredibly array of produce, including patty pan squash, but i still get excited when i see all the beautiful produce… and even more excited when it’s new to me. :-) on a different note - i haven’t been able to get enough lemon-scented quinoa lately! that stuff is just soooooo darn good.

    amanda — Saturday 15th March 2008 7:01 am

  2. love that pattypan squash stuffed quinoa ,bron.Excellent pictures.

    vineela — Saturday 15th March 2008 9:03 am

  3. Seems we are both into the blue plates this week;) Love how you have created a special meal with the patty pan squash for LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow. I bought some here recently but boringly sauteed them. Yours look such fun. Great photo. Good luck in the comp. Thank you for your support Bron.

    barbara — Saturday 15th March 2008 10:27 am

  4. I have never seen these vegetables before!


    Bev — Saturday 15th March 2008 10:42 am

  5. Pattypans…pattypans…pattypans…I love them for their names, their shape, their major cute factor and their taste! Great recipe!!

    Tartelette — Saturday 15th March 2008 1:59 pm

  6. i love pattypans! and i think this is my favorite taste of yellow entry among those that i’ve seen. fun!

    michelle @ TNS — Saturday 15th March 2008 4:46 pm

  7. Looks like your South Island produce range is better than Palmy’s! I’ve never cooked quinoi and now you’ve made me want to. I’ll bet that filing would be nice in the little minikins that are appearing in the store right now. Gorgeous photos as always.

    Morven — Saturday 15th March 2008 5:36 pm

  8. These look fantastically delicious, have bookmarked them and they’ll be made as soon as I can get my hands on some squash - YUM

    Rachel@fairycakeheaven — Sunday 16th March 2008 2:38 am

  9. Pattypans, how could I have missed these! So strikingly beautiful! Suffed so well and so fulll. Lovely!!

    MyKitchenInHalfCups — Sunday 16th March 2008 10:06 am

  10. Since my return to blogging, I’ve been noticing many amazing uses for quinoa and here it is again, this time in a squash — how inventive! And how beautiful, particularly against that blue background. Absolutely lovely!

    Tania — Sunday 16th March 2008 1:14 pm

  11. So lovely. Really. I have company coming to visit over the next couple of weeks and have been gathering some special recipes. I’m adding these to my list. Thanks, Bron!

    Susan from Food Blogga — Monday 17th March 2008 2:00 am

  12. I also get *very* excited why I spy something new, and buy it without knowing what to do with it. I love the look of the patty pans - never heard of them before, and what a cute little name they have. :)

    Annemarie — Monday 17th March 2008 8:35 am

  13. Lovely! I only see these little patty pans in summer, or occasionally at a very expensive gourmet market in the winter. Next time I do, I’ll try stuffing them with the quinoa filling.

    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) — Monday 17th March 2008 9:23 am

  14. I love quinoa, but never thought to stuff patty pan squash with it! Great idea, and gorgeous presentation. I also love the currant, coriander, and sunflower seed combination. I might even try that in a salad.

    Anticiplate — Wednesday 19th March 2008 3:44 am

  15. Patty pans rock! They’re plentiful in South Africa, but I have yet to find them here in Thailand. Would’ve loved to try and re-create this.

    Bordeaux — Thursday 20th March 2008 1:50 pm

  16. Thanks everyone, sorry I’ve been so slack in replying, I hope you’ll forgive, I’m not sure where the time goes! Thanks again for your generous and kind comments!

    bron — Sunday 20th April 2008 11:02 pm

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