Squash blossom recipes

Aug 20, 2008 at 11:43 a.m. ET

Have you eyed those delicate, orange, trumpet-shaped flowers at your local farmers market this summer? And did you shy away because you weren't sure what to do with them? Squash blossoms are a summer treat and definitely worth your attention. Now is your chance to bravely buy them and give them a place on your dinner table.

Squash Blossom

The versatile, beautiful squash blossom

Squash blossoms are well known the world over and have a delectable variety of uses. They have a delicate zucchini-like flavor and can be stuffed, fried, sauteed, made into soup, or used anyway your taste buds desire – but you have to hurry, the squash blossom season is almost over!

Squash blossom recipes

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Makes 8 to 10 servings

18 zucchini, acorn squash or pumpkin blossoms, stamen removed

Cheese Filling:
3 ounces goat (feta) cheese
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Beer Batter:
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cold flat beer
Vegetable oil for frying
Grated Parmesan cheese and sliced chives for garnish

1. Gently swirl squash blossoms in cold water to clean. Carefully remove them from water and dry on paper towels.

2. Combine goat cheese, cream cheese, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, garlic, sal, and pepper in a bowl and beat until smooth. Carefully spoon 2 teaspoons of cheese mixture into each blossom. Lay flat on a plate and chill.

3. In a shallow dish, whisk together cornstarch, flour, salt, pepper, celery salt, baking soda, baking powder, egg and beer. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large deep skillet to 375 degrees F.

4. Gently dip a filled blossom in batter covering entire blossom and lay in hot oil. Cook on one side until brown, then flip. Continue with remaining blossoms, cooking a few at a time. Remove blossoms with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

5. When ready to serve, top blossoms with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and chives.

Squash Blossom Hush Puppies

Makes 8 to 10 servings

2 cups cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning or cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons corn oil or bacon drippings
Corn or canola oil for frying
1/4 cup minced onion
8 to 10 squash blossoms, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels

1. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, Old Bay or cayenne, and cumin. In a second bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs and corn oil or bacon drippings.

2. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large deep skillet to 350 degrees F. While oil is heating, combine wet and dry ingredients and add in the onion, squash blossoms and corn. Using a small ice cream scoop or small spoon, drop spoonfuls of batter into hot oil. Cook until golden on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon onto paper towels to drain. Serve warm.

Squash Blossom Soup

Makes 6 servings

1/4 stick butter
1 onion, sliced
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound squash blossoms (about 4 cups)
1 cup half and half
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Grated anejo cheese for garnish (see note)

1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until melted. Saute onions and garlic about 5 minutes. Add in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 to 12 minutes. Mix in squash blossoms and cook 5 more minutes.

2. Pour mixture into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Strain soup back into the pot. Mix in half and half and bring to a boil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, top each bowl with grated anejo cheese.

Note: Anejo cheese, a dry Mexican cheese, is similar to Parmesan and can be found in the cheese section of most large markets.

Love squash? Try these tasty squash recipes:

Summer Squash Ravioli
Butternut Squash Soup
Spaghetti Squash Parmesan
Spaghetti Squash Pancakes
More squash blossom recipes!