Squash blossoms are fantastic! I hadn't realized what all the fuss at our local farmer's market was about until I jumped in with about 10 spaghetti squash plants in the garden. The plants provide a seemingly limitless supply of blossoms - and, hopefully a few baby squash.
Here is my first collaboration with a local blogger ChooChooCaChew. She and her partner are a constant source of inspiration. ChooChoo's blog showcases the best of Farm to Table Taiwanese Cooking. --thank you for the photos!!
The family recipe comes from a fellow Chicago hiker who grew up with an Italian father. Easy to see why this crispy appetizer was a favorite in their house.
Step 1: Prepare the Blossoms
The blossoms are sturdy for 4-7 days after picking so long as they are kept in the fridge. I don't trust them for four hours at room temp or even worse in the sun.
- Green Fibers - remove these sturdy fibers that run around the base of the flower
- Pistil - optional to remove the pistol. we aren't stuffing the blossoms but if that's your preference you'll wan to pull the pistol
- Wash - fill a bowl with water and aggregate the blossoms under the surface to free any dirt or insects
Squash blossoms are best harvested from the garden throughout the summer. Blossoms can also be purchased direct or found at most farmer's markets.
Step 2: Washing Step
Here's how I use a trusty bucket to wash the blossoms. I make sure to direct the water away from the blossoms.
Step 3: Batter
Step 4: Mixing in Water
Photos show a walk through adding water to the mix. I slowly incorporate and make sure the batter is sufficiently watery. It helps that the wet squash will also add water.
Step 5: Battering Blossoms
The dipping process involved coating the blossoms and allowing the excess to run off along the side of a mixing bowl.
Step 6: Frying Blossoms
My approach is to use a wok. If you have a deep fryer or preferred approach it's probably better than my method. I prioritize using light oil and starting the blossoms with the petals in the deepest section of oil. My temp is set to 7/10 on the dial... medium high. Test oil by dropping some batter in the pan. If it fries it's ready... if it smokes lift the pan.
- Canola Oil - we just use a standard oil for most frying+ baking (amzn.to/2zolEJh)
- Olive Oil (Pomace) - lesser quality for taste but a great option for healthy frying (amzn.to/2J6gi56)
- Olive Oil (Extra Virgin) - a premium but note you don't get the full value of the flavor (amzn.to/2N2moFR) --noted in the comments that it's really not worth using olive oil... it breaks down when frying so flavor is lost
- Peanut Oil - here is what I know to be the standard fryer oil. I've never wanted to commit to the bulk order but if you regularly fry this is likely the best option (amzn.to/2J7ipWj)
Step 7: Serving Blossoms
ChooChooCaChew prepared a far more elegant round of blossoms (see photos). We shared a recipe but my batter and frying approach created a denser product. Both are delicious and in the photos you see how I absorb excess oil using printer paper (much better than paper towel)
Step 8: Sriracha Mayo
Simple. Delicious. The name of this step says it all... I simply drizzle in sriracha to taste.
Step 9: Enjoy!
Squash Blossoms make a beautiful addition to any summer meal. As a first time 'squash blossom farmer' I can say this is by far the easiest crop in the garden to manage. Provided you have full sun and space for the vines to grow.
Here are a few recent baking how-to's.