Do yo know the difference between a male and a female squash blossom?

It is so easy to tell them apart. And you should never feel sorry for eating the males 🙂 Because they are the ones that will never turn into a squash/zucchini. They die at being a blossom. In this photo below the only female blossom is the one that ends in a tiny zucchini. All the others are males.  I either buy the female blossom still attached to the baby zucchini or the male one which is the blossom only.

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How to work with zucchini blossoms?

They are edible flowers. As such, can be consumed raw and cooked. In any way they need to be handled with care. Very delicate, beautiful flowers. I always rinse them with cold water, very carefully, place them on a paper towel to soak most of the water. Then take another piece of paper, big enough to wrap all. I will put them carefully on the paper, wrap them and place them in a plastic box and keep in the fridge. They are good for a few days, but will soon discolor. They are perfectly fine still, to be used , preferably fried at that point.

So let’s see a few ideas on what to do with zucchini blossoms?

I think the rule of thumb is that you are welcome to use them anywhere where zucchini, or squash could be used.  So why don’t you make a

Shaved zucchini salad

keep it raw, or put the ribbons for a minute on the griddle and add blossoms, soft, fresh feta, toasted pine nuts and a lemon thyme vinaigrette?

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For brunch

These blossoms look amazing and tastes so good in your fritatta! Simply mix some eggs with soft, creamy cheese such as chevre, ricotta, burrata, add herbs like parsley, basil, chive, mix and top it with the blossoms. Put the frittata in your oven and bake to perfection.

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For a gorgeous appetizer

try and pair them with tomato. I made a dish where I prepared a simple ceviche of heirloom tomatoes, which means marinating the tomatoes for a very short time in lemon juice, shallots,salt, pepper and some herbs like chopped cilantro or parsley. Then, in this case I used the blossoms as a shell to be stuffed. Any soft cheese (ricotta, chevre, farmer’s cheese) is great here, the blossoms will only be the carrier for the cheese that you eventually eat with the tomato ceviche.

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This is such a delicious and balanced combination of sweet-tart tomatoes, creamy ricotta and crispy blossoms, with some fragrant micro herbs.

For the filling I used ricotta, sauteed spinach, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chives. Carefully open the blossoms and fill them halfway. Then pinch the middle of the flower, just where your filling ends, and carefully twist, so it closes.

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Dip in egg-wash and breadcrumb. Quickly fry them. Serve them immediately on top of the tomato ceviche with micro herbs.DSC_5499

How about a soup? Corn pairs so well with summer squash!

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Here, I filled the blossoms with cooked corn, farmer’s cheese and a jalapeno filling. Dipped them in cornflour and quickly fried them. To keep the corn theme, I made a corn veloute, which is creamy corn soup. I cooked the corn for 5 minutes in just enough water to cover them. Then I cut the kernels off the cob and saved the water!. Saved some of the kernels for the filling and plating. Sauteed the corn in some butter, added flour and the water I used for the cooking. Brought to a boil, cooked for 10-15 minutes and blended. Seasoned with salt, pepper, and a  little bit of sour cream. You can also add some sauteed chanterelle or crispy bacon. They go very well with both corn and squash. Finished off my soup with young cilantro leaves and chive blossoms.

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I hope you now feel like using these blossoms and will go to the market and get some! Enjoy!