The more time you spend in the garden the more your love of squash will blossom. In Northern California fiery squash flowers will first burst onto the scene sometime in mid June. if well nurtured, even a modest grave-sized garden can easily produce a handsome handful of very tasty squash blossoms every few days until October.
Due to their delicacy, squash blossoms are best picked just before cooking. Since both male and female flowers bloom in concert on a single plant, its also best to leave a few flowers of each sex behind in order to ensure continued pollination and fruiting.
The most oft-repeated squash blossom recipe deserves its popularity. For every savvy Foodist makes it a delicious rite of summer to stuff the delicate yellow blossoms with semi-moist goat or sheep’s milk cheese, aged Fontina, (or fine vegan cultured nut-cheese), and then flour, egg-wash, and coat each flower in seasoned bread crumbs before lightly and quickly pan-frying.
By choosing an olive oil that offers up nice grassy or peppery notes, or perhaps that hint of artichoke, and then seasoning the stuffed flowers with just a pinch of flaky unrefined sea salt and a fine dusting of white pepper, you let the flavors of the oil, blossoms, and cheese speak for themselves. Your job is only to highlight their wonderful harmony with a few well-chosen notes of citrus, or perhaps stone fruit, found in a good glass of viognier or chardonnay.
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
- 2 dozen squash blossoms ,
- 1 lb. Sheep’s milk cheese
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 eggs beaten
- 2 cups dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon fine unprocessed sea salt
- white pepper
- 1/2 cup grapeseed or peanut oil
- Fine olive oil for finishing
Very gently rinse each blossom in ice water and let it dry.
Remove the fuzzy pistil at the center, and trim the stem-end right up to the base.
Prepare the blossoms and cut the cheese into 24 pieces about an inch square. Place a piece of cheese into each flower and enclose it in the blossom.
Mix the salt and bread crumbs and spread them onto a shallow pan.
Lightly dust each blossom with flour, then dip them quickly in the bowl of beaten eggs, and lightly drop and roll them onto the crumbs in order to fully coat.
Gently shake off the excess crumbs from each blossom and slide them into the fully heated oil in a small wok or skillet.
Let the blossoms color on one side for no more than a minute, then flip and fry them on the other side until they are a light golden hue.