Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gardening: Leafy Gluttony - Squash Blossoms (And butter! And cheese!)

Photo of baby zucchini.
I don't like summer squash. I agree with Hercule Poirot that they taste like water.

But I love squash blossoms, whether they're from summer squash, winter squash, or pumpkins. And they continue the leafy gluttony theme of food that's better from the garden than any other way. Groceries do sell baby squash with blossoms attached, but they're generally sadly wilted - squash blossoms aren't good for more than a few minutes away from the garden.

So when I grow squash, it's for the blossoms. That means that ideally, I'd grow squash that produce plenty of male blossoms, and a minimum of fruit-producing and therefore energy-wasting female blossoms. A hunt through Google points me to Butter Blossom summer squash, but fails to find me a source for seeds. Sources suggest that Costata Romanesco and Sunray, both from Johnny's Selected Seeds, are also good producers of male blossoms.

So once you've gotten the seeds and have a handful of blossoms in the kitchen, what do you do with them? Fry them in butter, of course!

At least, that's one option, and the simplest. I rinse the blossom, pull the petals off in one flat sheet, dust them in flour, and fry them, carefully, in a generous pool of foaming butter over medium-low heat. Let them cool from the pan just long enough to allow them to crisp, and eat them. This is not a plated dinner party dish; just as the raw blossoms aren't good for more than a few hours out of the garden, the fried ones are at their best a minute or two out of the pan.

The less simple options? I've never tried them yet, but gathering some nice-looking links, I see:

Five Ways to Eat Squash Blossoms, from Apartment Therapy The Kitchn. Cheese-stuffed and fried, cheese-stuffed and baked to steamed, or in pasta, quesadillas, or soup.

What to do with squash blossoms, from Gastronomical Three. A detailed gorgeous-picture-laden description of how to do the stuffed fried blossoms.

A bruschetta version of the stuffed blossoms, from

A version filled with pulled pork, from the Food Network.

Basil-stuffed blossoms from SippitySup.

And finally, baked squash blossoms with ricotta and honey, from

Yum. I'm not going to have enough blossoms.

Photo: By Rasbak. Wikimedia Commons.


  1. I too am looking for the elusive Butter Blossom squash because I LOVE squash blossoms and hate summer squash. I cannot find seeds for them ANYWHERE. It's so aggravating.

  2. Hey, Erin! Yes! What's the deal? Why are they so hard to find? I realize that they're freaky, but usually it seems like you can find practically everything as _seed_, just not as plants.