I’ve told you a little about my adventures with growing squash in my garden. The first and last legitimate zucchini was grown and eaten two weeks ago and there hasn’t been another one since. Yes, it does bother me a bit that a vegetable that is purportedly so easy to grow that a toddler could grow it has eluded me, but no matter; because this girl learns to make lemonade out of lemons! Even though I have no more mature squash to eat, I happen to have a good amount of squash blossoms on the plants that I’ve been harvesting early in the mornings and finding things to make with them. The blossoms themselves taste like a mild version of the squash. I stuffed these blossoms with a ricotta cheese and herb mixture and pan fried them. They make a delicious and delicate appetizer and they are very simple to make!
As I mentioned, the squash blossoms should be harvested first thing in the morning when they open. The male blossom is on a long, thin stem, and as long as there are no female blossoms open that need to be fertilized, the male flowers are pretty much for show (and for eating)! Snip the blossoms, then take your scissors and carefully snip and remove the stamen (the protrusion in the flower that is covered in pollen) and place them in a bowl of cold water. These flowers can be stored in the refrigerator for two days in the bowl of water. When you are ready to make them, rinse them and remove the stems.
Let the blossoms sit while you make the filling:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 garlic clove, minced finely or pressed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Carefully stuff the blossoms using a teaspoon and your finger. Pinch the tops of the blossoms to close them. Heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.
Beat one egg in a small bowl and put about 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour on a saucer.
Dip the blossoms in the beaten egg and then lightly flour. Place each blossom in the hot skillet. Fry for one to two minutes per side. Place on a paper towel to drain.
Here’s another fun thing we made with the squash blossoms: pizza! I’m pretty proud of this pizza because all of the vegetables on it, with the exception of garlic, came from our little garden! For this white pizza, I used sliced green zebra tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil, squash blossoms, garlic, parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese! Delicious!