Though pattypan squash is my top choice, you can use any summer squash you have on hand to make this bright, bold late summer panzanella.
Hold your pumpkin bread – I have one last super summery recipe before this season really ends. You can use any summer squash you like here (zucchini or yellow squash are both great), but I found pattypan squash at the farmers market and had to try it! I considered making a totally different pattypan squash recipe by stuffing and baking it, but I didn’t want to turn the oven on.
Then I noticed that I had some really stale bread, so this hearty, delicious pattypan squash panzanella was an obvious choice. I’m a HUGE fan of panzanellas, or Italian bread salads (see here, here, and here), so don’t know why it took me the whole summer to think of this one.
How to Make this Pattypan Squash Recipe
If you’ve never cooked with pattypan squash before, they’re a little different from other summer squash. They have a funky shape similar to that of flying saucers – short, squat, and round – and their texture is a bit more firm.
Because of the squash’s funny shape, cutting it uniformly can be tricky. Do the best that you can – I usually opt for chopping them into small wedges. Once your pattypan squash is chopped, toss it on your grill or grill pan. You can also roast it in the oven if you like. Either way, cook it until your pieces are lightly golden brown around the outside.
Then, cut up some stale crusty bread! Sourdough is my preference, but a multi-grain bread would work too.
Toss the cooked squash and bread together with juicy halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, creamy mini mozzarella balls, garlic, olive oil, and a big drizzle of sherry vinegar. I garnish it all with sliced basil and toasted pine nuts for crunch.
Dig in! Or better yet, let your panzanella sit at room temperature for a few minutes. That way, the bread will have a chance to soak up the flavorful juices.
What to Serve with Pattypan Squash Panzanella
Whether I’m eating it as a main or side dish, I love to enjoy this pattypan squash salad with a summery glass of rosé. As the bread absorbs the vinegar and tomato juices, this panzanella only gets better, so it’s a great one to make ahead to take to a picnic. If you’re hosting, serve it alongside any classic picnic fare – veggie burgers, black bean burgers, BBQ sandwiches, or grilled portobellos are some of my go-tos.
Looking for more pattypan squash recipes?
Pattypan Squash Panzanella
- 5-6 small pattypan squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
- olive oil, for drizzling
- 1½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 small cucumber, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- ½ clove garlic, minced
- sherry vinegar, for drizzling
- ½ cup mini mozzarella balls, sliced in half (skip if vegan)
- 4-5 slices stale sourdough bread, sliced into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- big handful of torn fresh basil leaves
- generous pinches of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a grill pan to medium. Toss the squash pieces with a drizzle of olive oil, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Place the squash onto the grill pan and grill each side until the squash is tender and char marks form (about 2 minutes per side).
- Place the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers in a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, the minced garlic, a drizzle of sherry vinegar, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss again.
- When the squash is done, add it to the bowl along with mozzarella, bread, pine nuts, and basil.
- Add more olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper as needed.
- Let the salad sit at room temp for about 15 minutes so that the bread has the chance to soak up the flavorful juices.