To me, one of the best parts of growing squash are the blossoms you get to pluck from the tops of the ready-to-pick vegetable. And what is more lovely, almost romantic really, than dining on flowers!? It's right up there with peeled grapes. (Not that I get those that often. Or ever. Humphf!). Tender, delicate and with a hint of floral sweetness, squash blossoms are easy to prepare and always make a charming presentation. If you don't grow your own squash you can often find them in farmer's markets.
There are various ways to prepare the blossoms, but one of my favorites is simply stuffing them with a good cheese, then gently pan frying. First, you want to carefully open up the top of the flower and check for any bees who love to nestle within the buds. (If you do find a honey bee, please set it free outside so that it can continue its very important job of pollinating, otherwise this blog post wouldn't exist!). Next, break off and remove the stamen, which is very bitter. You can either pipe in your filling or tear open one side of the blossom, then close it up around your filling. It's okay for some of the filling to ooze out.
In this batch, I made a filling of Ricotta cheese, freshly grated Parmesan, a generous handful of lemon basil (chiffonaded), some lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Simple and flavorful! I then dredged it in a bit of egg, shook off the excess, and placed the blossoms in a skillet with hot olive oil. Let them brown lightly on both sides and serve immediately.
Cheesy, flowery goodness.
Here are some other delicious ways to prepare your squash blossoms:
Bitten's, When Squash Blossoms Bloom
Gastronomical Three's What to do with squash blossoms
Maureen Gilmer gives us tasty squash blossom quesadillas!
And Five Ways to Eat Squash Blossoms from Apartment Therapy Kitchn