The idea of eating flowers has always struck me as a category mistake, on par with dating guys who still live with their parents or buying cigarettes for minors — something that just should not be done. At upscale restaurants, it sort of irritates me if my salad comes out adorned with edible flowers. Sure, a single, bright orange nasturtium resting atop a pile of greens adds some color to the plate, but it seems merely decorative to me — a fussy piece of garnish. (And when is the last time you wanted to eat plate garnish?) I feel like I’m supposed to think, “My, how clever! A flower that you can eat!!” Uh-uh, I’ll pass.
I have made exceptions to my ban on flower-eating for squash blossoms. I’ve tentatively brought them home from the farmer’s market, equally intimidated and seduced by their charms–so delicate! so weird! They challenge the home cook, seeming to say, “you might know all about my brethren squash and zucchini, but you have no idea about what to do with me once you take me home.” They are the Mae West of produce.
Perhaps I’m making too much of this and am alone in being intimidated by squash blossoms. If you’re with me, though, and have found yourself beguiled by blossoms, I assure you that it’s simple to do something delicious with these odd little beauties.
I may not be keen on flowers-as-food, but I’ve always like it when food is wrapped in other food — dates wrapped in bacon, stuffed grape leaves, ice cream sandwiches. (Not together, obviously.) This recipe–if it can be called a recipe–takes a page from that book. Just clean ‘em, stuff ‘em, dip ‘em in egg and flour, fry ‘em. And, of course, eat ‘em.
Stuffed squash blossoms
- Once you’ve cleaned off the blossoms, make some kind of cheese stuffing. I used cream cheese, garlic, fresh parsley, and salt and pepper. I wish I’d had some goat cheese, because that would have been divine. Stuff the blossoms with a small spoonful of the filling and twist the tops closed.
- Set out two prep bowls. Into one of them, break an egg and beat it a bit with a fork. In the other bowl, add some flour and season with salt and pepper.
- Dip a blossom into the egg
- Dust with flour. Do this to all the blossoms and place on a plate.
- Fry lightly in olive oil until golden. You can be smarter than me and use a utensil instead of your bare hands to add the blossoms to the pan.
- That’s about all there is to it.