Did you grow up with parents that had the “clean your plate rule” at dinner time? Or was your dad a hunter and so you are familiar with the “do not waste any part of the animal” mentality?
Well, I’m going to introduce a new, but similar, concept to you – use all parts of the vegetable or fruit! Okay, I know this isn’t possible with all of them – but in case of the squash plant it sort of can be!
Did you know the flower from the squash plant is not only edible, but delicious?
Squash blossoms have a mild vegetable flavor that is comparable to other yellow squashes and zucchini. They are low in calories and have a small amount of Vitamin A and C.
Usually, squash blossoms are available for a few months in the summer. They do not last long though, so as soon as you buy or pick them use them immediately! Squash blossoms can be found on most squash, pumpkin, and zucchini plants.
So, how do you eat a squash blossom?
While you can eat them plain, I prefer to make something with them.
The awesome thing about squash blossoms is that there is no right or wrong way to eat these – and if you don’t believe me just search for recipes on Pinterest and you will be amazed at how creative you can get with this flower.
Here are a few suggestions for how to eat them:1. Stuff and bake them; Yield: 12 servings
· 1 cup ricotta
· 3 eggs, divided
· ⅓ cup chopped parsley
· 12 squash blossoms
· ¾ cup breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Mix together ricotta, 1 lightly beaten egg, and parsley. Season with salt.
3. Put the remaining 2 eggs in a bowl and whisk. Put the breadcrumbs in another bowl.
4. Carefully spoon filling into each squash blossom and twist loosely at the end to close.
5. Dip each stuffed squash blossom in egg, then breadcrumbs, and transfer to a parchment or tin foil-lined baking sheet.
6. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy.
7. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Or try these suggestions:
1. Make it into a quesadilla - Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 small diced onion and 2 garlic cloves (peeled and minced) and cook until soft. (about 5 minutes) Then, add 1 diced tomato and cook until liquid evaporates. (about 4 minutes) Add 20 squash blossoms (cleaned-remove pistils) and chile peppers if you are feeling brave or want some extra flavor. Cook for another minute or two and then remove from heat. All you need now is a tortilla of your choice to fill with this mixture.
2. Try throwing them in a soup or finely chopping and serving them on top of a pasta
There are endless ways to incorporate this flower into your diet. Adding color and variation to your diet helps you not to continue cycling through the same recipes you typically use.
Call your local farmer’s market or farm and see if they will have squash blossoms available for purchase this summer if you are unable to grow any at home.