When gardens go wild: Low Carb Pattypan Crustless Pizza Recipe

The DH and I have always dreamed of having our own garden. It is a bit hard to do when you live in an apartment, and the only access you have to the great outdoors is on your balcony. Nevertheless, we managed to grow a few tomatoes and basil plants, and were happier because of it. When we bought a house we went a bit wild, and transformed a fourth of our back yard from a neglected underutilized corner to a bustling organic gardening paradise, complete with homemade redwood planters. Once we had the planters, we had to put something in them. We chose a wild assortment of the most exotic things we could think of- purple bush beans, dragon carrots, candy radishes, purple tomatillos, and a ton of squash and gorgeous heirloom potatoes. Ok, squash isn’t usually exotic, but it has a certain appeal to lifetime apartment dwellers because it is not generally something that you can grow on a balcony. (Amazing container gardening magic aside.) The plants were in, the DH put in a drip watering system, and then we waited for the bounty to come rolling in. And roll in it did, with pattypan squash seemingly bursting into existence on the vine right along with fourth of July fireworks.
This gave me pause. I had the basics of organic gardening thanks to reading and a class at Love Apple Farm, but one thing I hadn’t researched was when to harvest my beauties. When was I supposed to take the pattypan off the vine? I wasn’t really sure, but they rapidly grew to an impressive size that I’d never seen at farmer’s market harvest. Why did they pick them when they were so small? I felt rather proud of their size.

Then I went online to research the correct harvesting of pattypan. Whoops. Turns out if you let them get large, supposedly they get rather woody and coarse. I was disheartened but couldn’t believe they could really be that bad. People let zucchini get big, after all. Besides, looking at them gave me an idea. They were such nice, round shapes, and I was reminded of my old traditional eggplant parmesan recipe. They would be the perfect size for a personal pizza un-crust. So, I dipped them in a spiced oil and vinegar marinade and put them on the grill to soften them and add flavor. Then I topped them with a really good pizza sauce and cheese. For my dairy-free Mother, I made a few with Daiya cheese instead. The cheese melted and got all bubbly and delicious, and when I got a bite, I didn’t miss a grain crust at all! They were delicious, and the “hard” rind added structure and texture to the crust but the soft squash interior was still soft and delicious. I did notice that the larger they got, the larger their seeds were, and the center of the round was a bit softer than the rest. It could still hold up to a pizza topping, though, and was easy to eat with a fork, although I wouldn’t try to eat it with my hands just because it is a bit messier than a regular pizza.

I’ve been experimenting with my other giant pattypan and have found that they taste just as good as the littler ones. I like a sturdier squash anyway, and one of my biggest complaints over (bad) zucchini or yellow squash recipes is when they get mushy. It is hard to make these giant pattypan mushy, and they take on flavor and are just delicious sauteed in oil. I did prefer to peel them for sauteed applications as otherwise the rind is hard to eat. It reminds me of kabocha squash, actually.

So, if like me you have monster pattypan growing out of control in your garden- take heart! You can still enjoy them, in a fun way generally only possible when you have a home garden or belong to a garden co-op. You could also try mini pattypan pizzas with farmer market or supermarket babies. In that case, you would probably have to simply slice them in half and take care not to overcook them. They should be just as delicious either way!

Other Pattypan Recipes:
Fried Pattypan Squash Recipe
Pattypan Squash Recipe
Stuffed Pattypan Squash Recipe
Herbed Pattypan Squash Medley Recipe
Simple Pattypan Squash Recipe
Vegan Stuffed Pattypan Squash Recipe

Other innovative recipes using squash as a “crust”:
Butternut Squash Crust Quiche Recipe

Shared with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Seasonal Sunday

Pattypan Crust-less Pizza Recipe
Mutant, overgrown pattypan squash (5 or more inches diameter)

Olive oil
dash of white balsamic vinegar (brown is fine but will discolor your “pizza” crust)
your favorite multi-herb blend seasoning (italian or other)
salt (if not included in above herb blend)

High Quality Pizza Sauce such as Muir Glen Organic
Grated mozzarella OR Daiya equivalent for dairy-free, vegan

Fresh basil for garnish

Slice your monster Pattypan beasts into 1/2 inch thick slices appropriate for mini-pizzas.

Whisk oil, vinegar, spices and salt together in a pie tin or other medium-sized dish with sides. Keep in mind that pattypan are like eggplant. They are greedy little sponges for oil. Make more than you think you need. Dip both sides pattypan slices in seasoned oil and reserve on a large plate.

Heat your grill or grill pan to a high searing temperature. Lightly shake off any excess oil from your pattypan slices and place them on your grill. Sear and then lower temperature to medium. Let slices soften, and then turn to sear and cook the other side. You want your pattypan tender but not mushy.

You have two options for the pizza preparation if you are using a grill. You can either place your topping on top of your seared pattypan crust in the grill, close the lid and allow the heat to melt the cheese, or you can reserve your slices and heat the topping in the broiler of your oven. The latter option will result in more browning, so I found I preferred to use the broiler. For broiler option, place pattypan slices on a baking sheet and place under broiler on high. Remove when cheese is melted and has browned. You can use Daiya cheese as a dairy-free alternative, but it will not brown in the same way so just remove when melted.

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14 Responses to “When gardens go wild: Low Carb Pattypan Crustless Pizza Recipe”

  1. i LOVE cheesey tomatoey things on vegetables!!
    (i put my chili on portabellos for a lowcarb feast, but these are so much prettier!)

  2. What a fun idea. It’s a great way to eat more veggies.

  3. Hey, thanks for sharing this, I have seen those pattypans many times but never even considered using them, not sure why. I will now! I will try anything to get my pizza fix withouth the dough. Love it.

  4. this looks delicious! I love pattypan squash. You can stuff them quite well too.

  5. Perfection! I envy you your green thumb and producing garden. The only thing my squash vines ever gave back was stunted squash and squash beetles. Zucchini and yellow crookneck are in season here but I will be on the lookout for pattypans.

  6. Brilliant! I’m always looking for new grain-free meals. I’ll put this on my list.

  7. Pattypan Pizza–what an awesome idea! They look delightful. :-)


  8. That actually looks REALLY good!! No pattypan here though….not much room for a garden on my little patio.

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  10. What a great idea! I once had grated zucchini as a gluten-free crust in a restaurant in Colorado. While I thought the concept was a little “different”, the taste was very, very good. But this would probably give great taste, and still give that pizza feel! I’ll have to look for one of those mutant pattypans now.:)

  11. I saw some pattypans at the farmers’ market here in Nashville a couple of days ago… I think I need to go back and grab a few to make little pizzas for lunch to easily take to work!

  12. Came across your link on Twitter. This is SO clever. Great idea.

  13. We had this for dinner tonight, it was quite yummy and really very easy. I pan-saute/fried the slices as we’re without a grill, topped them with tomato sauce and Daiya, and broiled until the Daiya was melted and a wee bit crunchy (oops). Delicious! I will say I think my slices were more like 3/4 inch, which is probably better for the pan anyway as the thinner bits became overly soft cooking in the pan.

  14. I made these last night and everyone loved them! They were even fabulous w/o cheese. I didn’t have any mutantly huge pattypans, just regular, locally grown ones and they worked very well. Thank you for a great idea! Sometimes it’s hard being grain free.

    Speaking of grain free, have you seen this recipe:

    I changed up the filling a bit, but the butternut squash “crust” was brilliant! So, if you have any butternut growing in your garden, I’d give this recipe a try!

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