Pesto Patty Pan and Tomato Salad

Posting my first recipe!

Now I don’t know about you guys, but I always find it kinda annoying when I have to scroll through 5 paragraphs of writing before I can even see the ingredients.  SO in my blog I’m going to post the recipe first, and my thoughts about it after.  If you want to scroll down and read it, great!  If you just want the recipe, also great!

Anywho enough rambling, onto the food!


Pesto Patty Pan and Tomato Salad

  • 3-4 Small Patty Pan Squash
  • 1 TBS High-Heat Oil (such as Vegetable Oil)
  • 2 TBS of Pesto (see recipe below)
  • 3 Small Vine-Ripened Tomatoes
  • 3 Cups of Arugula
  • 1 Small Avocado
  • 2 oz of Chèvre Goat Cheese, Crumbled
  • Juice from 1 Lemon Wedge
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Fresh Basil cut chiffonade (optional)

Wash and cut up your Patty Pan and Tomatoes into bite-sized chunks.  Cut the Avocado in 1/2 lengthwise and remove the pit.  Score the Avocado length wise and again across to create chunks.

In a pan (I use cast iron) heat the Oil on med-high heat until it is very hot.  Add the Patty Pan and sear until browned/slightly blackened on most sides (about 5 minutes).  Turn off the heat and add the Pesto, stirring to completely coat the squash.  Let the mixture cool down slightly so that the Patty Pan doesn’t totally wilt the Arugula.

While the squash is cooling add the Arugula and Tomato to a large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lemon juice and gently toss to combine.  Once the Patty Pan is cool enough, but still slightly warm add it to the salad and toss once more.  Top with the Chèvre and Avocado. Garnish with basil.

Serve as a side dish, or top with grilled chicken and enjoy as a light lunch!


Small Batch Pesto:

  • 1 Cup of Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Scant 1/4 Cup of Pine Nuts
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic, Crushed
  • 1/4 Cup of Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

In a dry pan toast the Pine Nuts until you can smell them and they turn a light brown color.  Add the Basil and Pine Nuts to a food processor and pulse until the Basil is finely chopped.  Add the Garlic and Parmesan and pulse until everything is well combined.

Turn the food processor on low and slowly drizzle in the Olive Oil.  Once completely mixed, transfer the pesto to a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.


I was first introduced to Patty Pan Squash at an old job of mine.  It was a chef/seasonally driven cafe so I was always discovering new and interesting ingredients.  One day these “flying saucer” shaped squash caught my eye, so I asked our sous chef about them.  He explained that they were a variety of Summer Squash that was slightly firmer and contained less water than zucchini.  He told me his favorite way to prepare them (seared in a hot pan with a spoon of pesto added) and that was the inspiration for this recipe.


I love this salad.  It’s simple, flavorful and doesn’t require an additional dressing.  This is perfect for summer time when all of the ingredients are at their peak.  I try to source as much produce from my local farmers market.  It ensures that everything is as fresh as possible, which I find only increases the flavor intensity of each ingredient.  Seriously, the difference between Pesto made with farmer’s market basil vs store bought is mind-blowing.

plateFor this recipe you could use store bought pesto but I always recommend home made.  I actually haven’t bought pesto once I realized how easy it is to make at home.  The recipe I posted above is inspired by this one I found when I first started making it:  I’ve made a few tweaks over the years to get the exact flavor I want, but it’s a very similar process.

That’s all for this week folks!  I hope you give this recipe a try, especially since we’re still in a great time of year for these ingredients, and leave me a comment letting me know how you like it!

Cheers! ~ The Little But Fierce Gourmet

4 thoughts on “Pesto Patty Pan and Tomato Salad

Add yours

  1. That looks so good!! And thanks for posting the recipe first. After seeing the recipe I really wanted to read about your inspiration and thoughts. Thanks for sharing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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