Squash blossoms are one of the most beautiful signs of the promise of summer gardens. In late spring the vines put on a show of glorious big yellow flowers, but only the females will produce the fruit later on in the season. The male flowers are fair game then for plucking and stuffing and enjoying for all their flavor and texture. I’m loving the wonderful variety I’m getting from my CSA this year from Crack in the Sidewalk Farmlet!
Many recipes call for a ricotta cheese stuffing, but I wanted something that would be a little more substantial. I opted to use a brown rice and chicken sausage blend that I had stashed in the freezer, and added some mozzarella cheese to it. Made locally here in Atlanta, Deliah’s Chicken Sausage is my favorite to use for all sorts of stuffing blends. I think the optimal stuffing mixture is something that has a more mild flavor profile so that the subtle flavor of the blossoms comes through.
Prepping the Blossoms
The first step was to blanch the blossoms in simmering water for a minute, then remove them to drain and cool. I then removed the pistil, which would have been much easier if I had done it before blanching.
Carefully opening up the petals, I took the stuffing by spoonfuls and gently filled each blossom. If the stuffing had been looser I would have used a pastry bag, but the spoon worked well for the consistency I had to work with.
I didn’t want to mess around with frying oil and batter for just 6 blossoms, so I decided that breading and baking was the way I wanted to go. After stuffing, I made an egg wash (a beaten egg with a few tablespoons of water), and a gluten-free breading crumb mix. I use puffed rice and puffed millet cereals run through a spice grinder for most of my bread crumb needs. To that mix I added a little ground Parmesan cheese. A quick dunk in the egg wash and a coating of crumbs was all they needed to be ready for the baking pan.
Stuffed, breaded, and ready to bake. They went into a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until they had turned golden brown and delicious.
Golden Brown and Delicious
I looked at the 6 blossoms I had stuffed and had the thought that they might not reheat well. We will never know.
After getting pictures taken and eating the first one, I didn’t slow down until the pan was empty! They were so good! The squash petals add a faint flavor, but when you get down to the base you are rewarded with a sweet and juicy bite. They have enough integrity to hold together when you cut through them and hold in the filling snugly.
My only regret is that they were gone so quickly, and I don’t know if I’ll get any more with my next CSA box since their season is short. If not, I will just have to look forward to next year!