Admittedly, I have never eaten or cooked with squash blossoms before. They’ve been haunting me at the farmer’s market because they know I have promised to try every food whenever possible (excluding bugs and Fear Factor type stuff). The resistance is because I share Shana’s point of view about edible flowers being stupid. But for $5 a box (20 flowers), I decided to plunge in today. I asked the guy selling it what squash blossoms taste like and uncharacteristically (of a green market vendor), he said, “squash blossoms.” Ok, thanks dude. I asked him how to prepare it and he said something like, just google it. Again, thanks. Despite my disappointment at him, I bought them and yes, googled it.

row of squash blossoms 2

I found that the ones I bought were male blossoms, on a stem, not attached to a little zucchini, like the female squash blossoms. The stamen needs to be removed before you eat it. They can be eaten raw so I washed one and bit in. I don’t want to say they taste like nothing, but it’s pretty close. The tip of the flower is so thin and tender, you might miss it entirely, but as you go down the flower, it becomes lightly crisp like a tender lettuce.

squash blossom

So, I don’t get it. The only real appeal is the way it looks (which is not worth the price). What confuses me more is that the most prevalent recipe around for these is to stuff them, batter them, and then fry them. The look is then lost. There are too many other things that can easily look like nuggets and since this doesn’t add a particular flavor, what’s the point? Other popular recipes include adding them to omelets or quesadillas. Again, the whole flower thing is lost.

My two cents is to use it in a way that still shows off what you paid for, the look of a flower. They can be added to salads or use them as a centerpiece, like a bouquet, in the center of a crudite plate. These can be dipped into dressing or dip like any other veggie.

Bouquet of Squash Blossoms

Stay tuned to see if I come up with any better uses for it.

posted by jessica at 06:43 PM Filed under Basics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.