Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Other Kind of Awesome Blossom

Summer time is here again and that means one of our favorite ingredients are in full bloom - zucchini blossoms!

Here's an example of a typical harvest from our patio garden. It's best to pluck these early in the morning and then stand them in cold water in the fridge.

This year we went overboard planting the zucchini & squash in the hopes of extending our growing season.

Although we were careful to only harvest male flowers, we found that over-picking the blossoms caused the plants to give up early and yellow-out before any fruit appeared.

Often times we found several ants crawling around inside the flower, which called for a thorough cleaning - here you can see a flower that's been cleaned and prepped for stuffing.

Here's a typical full-on Sunday dinner incorporating the blossoms - Lamb with crispy seasoned onions, a simple grape tomato salad, a ramekin of squash, topped with bread crumbs & a fried blossom and then two cheese stuffed blossoms.

Here's a closeup of the goat-cheese stuffed blossoms. This year, instead of a heavy tempura-style batter, we're dusting the blossoms in seasoned flour and frying them up as-is. The result is a much lighter fried blossom with all of the great cheese filling.

I know that Headhouse farmer's market has been bringing in some great blossoms lately, so now is the time to experiment - stuff the blossom with a spoonful of your favorite semi-soft cheese, twist the blossom top closed, dip in a batter and then fry till it's golden brown.

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