Squid vs. the Killer Pattypans

I had been dying to sweet-glaze the pattypans ever since I first tasted them. They responded by stinging me and crippling my right hand; a little game of hard to get. If you werent aware that the tops of squash are filled with deadly stinging apparatus, now you know. Handle with care and treat with respect. I also sacrificed the most beautiful aubergine for this dish.

Glazed Pattypans with an Aubergine and Stone-fruit Compote

Get your Niki to turn on the grill. Emphasize that you said grill, and not girl. Secretly laugh at the trouble he is bound to get into from the former sentence and perhaps from this one as well.


2 medium-sized pattypans
1/2 cup simple syrup
2 tsp thyme
2 tbsp orange flower water (1 tbsp for the pattypans, and another for the compote)
1 tbsp minced shallots
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 large Sicilian eggplant
1 peach, halved
1 nectarine, halved
2.5 tbsp butter cold butter


1/2 cup simple syrup
2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp orange flower water

Combine all the ingredients for the glaze and set aside. Slice each pattypan into two 3/4-inch slices and cover with the flavored simple syrup. You will not waste precious pattypan: dice the remaining squash.

Grill the stone fruit until soft and marked on both sides. Roast the eggplant until the skin is blistered and slightly charred; remove the skin and mash the eggplants with a fork.

Over medium-high heat, grill the pattipans until tender crisp; the glaze will slightly harden, and the squash become grill marked. I brushed the squash with glaze every time they were flipped. I believe that about 15 minutes passed, but I was touring Czechoslovakia or China, and cannot be held accountable for possibly errant records of time.

In a saucepan on medium-low heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter and soften the shallots without browning. Add the diced pattypan and oregano and stir until softened. Chop the grilled fruit and add to the pan. Turn the heat up to medium and cook the fruit down and break up in the pan. When a paste-like consistency is achieved add the mashed eggplant and stir, cooking for another 4 minutes or so. Add the orange flower water and stir. Take the pan off the heat and let cool for about a minute.

Incorporate the butter, little by little, whisking vigorously after each addition until the mixture becomes matte. The butter should not melt and the mixture should be a fairly tight paste.

Place one hot larger pattypan on a plate. Top with some compote mixture and then cover with another pattypan and top with more compote. Served with sprouts and a grilled peach.

Slam the finished plates on the table with a flourish, and an exclamation, preferably, Ha!

Eat your food with a smug smile on your face.