August is the time of the year when squash recipes run rampant because, well, so is the squash. Sadly, my stunted little plants have thus far managed to eke out exactly one tiny squash. Yes, that’s right: one.
Stir fry, zucchini bread, and stuffed patty pan with squash from the Urban Cabin’s garden will have to wait…those dreams are squashed for the time being. In the meantime, I’ve been making one of my favorite appetizers with squash blossoms purchased at our neighborhood farmer’s market. Yup, blossoms.
Big Papa oft quotes one of my well-worn phrases: “Oooh look, a [name that flower]. And you can eat it too!” There is nothing I like more than nibbling my way through cheery orange calendula, siesta-colored nasturtium and azure blue bachelor buttons which typically adorn our summer weekend salads. So imagine my delight when the super-sized blossoms a squash offers up are in season.
They appear in modern Mexican and South American cuisine under the name of flor de calabaza. You’ll find them in quesadillas, soups, and stuffed with fillings. Cooking with squash blossoms is, these days, all part of the trendy foodie rage and you’ll see them showing up in pasta, omelets, frittatas, salads and fritters.
My recipe (so amounts are “a pinch of this and a bit of that”) is something I landed on one day when I found myself with a bit of leftover goat cheese dip (mix a log of goat cheese with a healthy drizzle of olive oil and a few tablespoons of minced, fresh herbs like thyme, chives, basil, rosemary or whatever is handy) and a half-dozen lovely yellow-orange squash blossoms.
Stuff ‘em, I thought! And stuff them I did. I carefully opened up each blossom and plopped in about a tablespoon of herbed goat cheese. Then I took it up a notch and rolled each stuffed blossom in egg (just beat up an egg and put it in a bowl for dipping the blossoms) and coated the eggy blossom with panko bread crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs that are more airy than your garden variety bread crumbs). Swirl some olive oil in the ‘ole skillet and pan fry them to a golden brown state of crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside goodness. I promise you won’t be able to eat just one.
Want to stuff yourself with more? Check out Wanderfood Wednesday!