Squash Blossoms!

15 Aug

It’s still summertime, which means the Farmer’s Market remains filled with fruits and vegetables available only this time of year. I know, I know, we discussed this already here. But we haven’t talked Squash Blossoms, something truly unique and wonderful with which you can cook in the late summer.

As any gardener will tell you, squash is one of the easier things to grow and is ridiculously bountiful. As such, during the summer people are always on the lookout for inventive ways to use squash. I love layering sautéed onions, thinly sliced tomatoes and thinly sliced zucchini, layer by layer, with lots of fresh thyme, basil, salt and pepper, for a wonderful gratin. Add in a little white wine and/or broth, cover with foil and roast in the oven on 350 for 45 – 60 min (the last 15 min uncovered) and you will end up with a fresh, healthy divine dish that is redolent of summer. Squash is also great for pickling.

With squash also comes squash blossoms. For years I’ve admired these beautiful blossoms at farmer’s markets, in the store and in my own garden. But I never knew quite what to do with them so I didn’t try cooking with them.

Squash Blossoms

Fresh Squash Blossoms

Restaurants sometimes offer squash blossoms stuffed with cheese and then fried which, when done well, is terrific. But I am not much of a deep fryer at home and the recipes I looked at were too much of a pain. I finally decided to try a few inventions with squash blossoms and ended up with two dishes I know you will love.

Both have the same base:

- Sauté an onion, diced, in a little olive oil. Add a couple of cloves of thinly sliced garlic, some fresh thyme and salt & pepper.  (If you want a bit of spice, never a bad thing, add some finely diced jalapeño, serrano or red pepper. Remember the spice is in the seeds.)

- Then add a bunch of squash blossoms, chopped. Be sure to first gently wash the blossoms. Oh and tear them open before you wash and chop them to check for, you know, a creepy crawly. It’s rare but it happens.

- Saute everything down a little more until the blossoms are soft. This is a mixture I can eat by itself, with a spoon, it’s so good.

Now you have two options:

Squash Blossom Quesadillas or Baked Eggs with Squash Blossoms.

Both are very easy. And. To. Die. For.

SQUASH BLOSSOM QUESADILLAS

Quesedilla

Squash Blossom Quesadillas with Goat Cheese

- Take two tortillas (homemade if you can find them) and cover one with the squash blossom sauté base. Sprinkle with crumbled Goat Cheese. Goat cheese is my preference and is mouth-watering but any cheese will do.  Manchego would be my second choice.

- Cover with the second tortilla. In a large pan or skillet, cook the quesadilla over medium heat, flipping once. Heat until the cheese starts to melt and the entire quesadilla is warmed through. Top with a little goat cheese and fresh chives if you have them.

This is wonderful for any time of day: breakfast, lunch, supper or late night. 

BAKED EGGS WITH SQUASH BLOSSOMS 

- Cover the bottom of individual ramekins with the squash blossom sauté. At this point you can add anything you want… a little diced bacon or panchetta pre-cooked, for instance and/or some crumbled cheese of your choice, etc:

Baked Eggs SQ 1

- Drizzle a touch of cream over the ingredients. This is optional but adds a richness without a lot of calories.

- Crack two eggs in each ramekin. Top with salt and pepper.

Baked Eggs SB

- Bake the eggs on 350 for 15-18 minutes, checking them after 15. Bake until the whites are firm but the yolks still runny. You can of course cook them longer if you don’t like soft yolks and want to ruin them.

Enjoy! Let us know if you try either recipe or if you know another great recipe for the end of summer. I will be back on the 27th with what for me will be a big fun announcement.

10 Responses to “Squash Blossoms!”

  1. Elizabeth Boyd August 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Looks great! I’ve had them stuffed and sautéed, rather than fried, too. (stuffed with crabmeat is best I’ve had) Can’t wait to hear what you have to announce!

  2. Debi Seveland August 16, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    Tom,

    this sounds wonderful – and I love the pictures too
    I’ve never had squash blossoms, but like you would prefer them ways other than deep fried.
    I have a question about fennel – what ways do you prepare it?
    I bought some at Trader Joe’s but I haven’t used it yet.

    Debi

  3. Phyllis Harb August 16, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    My daughter and sister bread them and stuff with cheese and then fry them. Out of this world.

    • onfoodandfilm.com August 16, 2013 at 6:33 am #

      Phyllis, that sounds out of this world indeed. Send the recipe if you have it! :)

  4. Nan McNamara August 16, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    Delicious! Gorgeous photos. Thanks, Tom!

  5. justonemorebiteblog August 25, 2013 at 5:01 am #

    These quesadillas look so yummy! I can’t wait to make and try them! They remind of me the quesadillas I made a few days ago; I stuffed them with cheese, tomatoes, and fresh basil! Here’s the link to the recipe: http://justonemorebiteblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/quesadillas-with-tomatoes-and-fresh-basil/comment-page-1/?trashed=1&ids=122

    • onfoodandfilm.com August 25, 2013 at 5:13 am #

      hey! Those looks great! Thanks for the post and I love your blog. I look forward to more from you as well!

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