by Sandy Swegel
The zucchini in our garden is just starting, so there’s not too much of it yet. So far, it’s still a nice dish to have sauteed or lightly grilled zucchini and yellow squash. But I know the day will be here soon when there’s too much zucchini for any normal person. There’s one really good way to avoid too many zucchinis: eat the flowers. New flowers form right away so you don’t have to worry about not having enough zucchini.
I first learned about eating squash blossoms from my friend Alfredo who grew up on a ranch in Mexico. Squash blossoms were one of his favorite foods as a kid so his eyes still light up when he sees the bright yellow flowers. Squash are ready in Spring in warm Mexico so he remembered eating flores de calabaza stuffed with cheese, breaded and fried for the Cinco de Mayo holiday. Yum.
Here are some popular ways to eat squash blossoms:
Mexican Squash Blossom Quesadillas You saute the squash blossoms with the onions and peppers to make a great quesadilla filling. And you get to use LOTS of squash blossoms because they cook down so much.
Batter-fried Squash Blossoms Dip into a flour batter and fry. Crispy and flavorful.
Squash Blossom Frittata Another good use for all those eggs from backyard chickens.
Stuffed Squash Blossoms Squash are great for stuffing. Stuff them and then pan fry or deep fry them. Good stuffing variations are goat cheese and fresh herbs or sauteed mushroom, onion, garlic and ricotta.
Here are more details on five recipes you can experiment with. http://www.seasonalchef.com/recipe0805b.htm
The absolute cutest squash blossom recipe is one that waits till small yellow squash are formed but before the blossom falls off before taking the flower. It’s a great Cajun recipe that pairs the squash with catfish. Down South, there are about as many catfish as there are squash….so it’s a great way to use the abundance of fish and food! And so many good Louisiana recipes are just an excuse to eat stuffing!