Sunset’s Pattypan Squash with Eggs

A pretty sunny-side up egg in an edible container.

How cute and clever is this?

Very.

A sunny-side up egg cooked in its own fully edible, tender pattypan squash.

It’s enough to make you want to invite some friends over for brunch pronto.

“Pattypan Squash with Eggs” is the perfect way to showcase those adorable palm-size, bright yellow squash now all over farmers markets.

The recipe is from the new “Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook” (Oxmoor House) by the editors of Sunset magazine. The cookbook, of which I received a review copy, includes more than 180 recipes for casual dishes that make use of your own backyard bounty. Think “Lamb Stew with Roasted Red Peppers,” “Oysters with Melons and Cucumber Water” and “Grilled Poached Halibut with Fresh Apricot Salsa.”

The method for this particular dish couldn’t be easier. Just slice off the top of the squash and carefully hollow out its center. You can even bake the empty shells hours ahead of time.

When you’re ready to enjoy, just crack an egg into each one, before baking again. The eggs emerge with a perky, soft yolk. Dig a spoon in and you’ll find a trove of sauteed onions at the bottom, too.

To fill the squash cups more easily, my suggestion is to crack each egg into a small bowl first. Then, use a large spoon to gently lift the yolk and some of the whites to transfer to each squash. Because  pattypan squash vary in size, no doubt you will sometimes end up with too much egg white to fit inside of each. By using this bowl method, rather than cracking each egg directly into the squash, you won’t have to worry about overflow problems.

Serve the squash cups with pan-fried potatoes for brunch. Or do like I did and arrange each one on a mound of simply dressed salad greens for a dynamite light lunch that’s sure to brighten any summer afternoon.

Pattypan Squash with Eggs

(Serves 8 )

8 pattypan squash (about 5 inches across)

About 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt, divided

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon minced thyme

8 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut tops (stem ends) off squash and reserve. Also trim a very slender slice off the bottom of each squash just so that it sits more level. Scoop out and discard insides of squash, leaving a shell at least 1/4-inch thick. Brush squash and tops with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, set on a baking sheet, and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add thyme and cook, stirring 30 seconds more.

Set squash tops aside. Divide onion mixture evenly among squash. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl. Using a large spoon, carefully lift the yolk and some egg white out of the bowl and transfer it to one of the squash. Repeat. Sprinkle eggs with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake until eggs are set, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately, with tops set to the side.

Note: You can bake the empty squash cups up to 4 hours ahead and keep at room temperature, covered.

Per Squash: 165 cal.; 48 percent (80 cal.) from fat; 10 g protein; 8.9 g fat (2.1 g sat.); 14 g carbs (3.9 g fiber); 366 mg sodium; 212 mg chol.

Adapted from “Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook”


More Egg Recipes: Gallina de Madre (“Mother Hen Toast”) by Tyler Florence

And: Shirred Eggs in Prosciutto Crudo Cups

More Sunset Magazine Recipes: Delfina’s Pizza Dough

And: Chef Bradley Ogden’s Overnight Soft Herb Rolls

And: Beef-Ale Stew and Green Onion-Buttermilk Dumplings

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