Last year when we moved I started a vegetable garden with the hopes of figuring out the hell I was doing and maybe getting something (one thing) edible for my efforts. Considering it was started in late August, I didn't get that much out of it. A few pea pods, and lots of sprouts that either died during the "winter" or are still growing today. But one thing we did have a lot of was zucchini blossoms, so we took advantage of that and had many many fried blossoms for appetizers and with dinner. Here's some tips and recipes for eating them.
When harvesting, only pick the male ones because female ones are the ones that produce fruit. You'll know the difference because the female blossoms will have little round things underneath the blossom (that's your zucchini that's starting to grow!). Also pick them when they start to open up, but eat them within 24 hours otherwise they'll shrivel up. You can save the blossoms for a day or so longer if you keep them in ice water or a cold damp paper towel. Make sure you clean them out before eating (I like to make sure there's no pollen on the inside, and obviously no bugs!). Blossoms from other squash plants aren't so great.
What you need:
- Zucchini Blossoms
- Bread crumbs
- 1 Egg
- a dash of milk
- Mascarpone and Blue cheese
1. Mix together some Italian seasoned bread crumbs, flour, egg, and just a little bit of milk until you get a nice thick batter.
2. Put a little bit of mascarpone cheese and a lot more blue cheese on the inside of a blossom. (We've tried several different cheeses, and due to the mildness of the blossom, a cheese with a little bit more kick to it works best.) Twist the ends together to close up the blossom. (Side note, if you use mascarpone cheese on it's own, it will explode and drain everywhere when you bite into it.)
3. Dip the blossom in the batter (you'll know if it's too thick or too thin based on whether it sticks to the blossom at all or runs completely off.
4. You can either bake them or fry them. If you fry, preheat the oil and when it is very hot, drop the blossoms in. They only need a minute or two to cook. Remove with a slotted spoon when browned and let cool on a paper towel. If you bake, bake in a in a tin with walls (either a cookie tin or a cake tin) with some olive oil in preheated 400 degree oven until batter is cooked.
And if that was enough effort for one meal, here's a quick and easy pasta dish that you can eat these next to (ie. not part of).
Make spaghetti the way it says on the box and drain. Add some olive oil and butter, garlic (fresh or powder is fine), parsley, basil, nutmeg, and parmesean chesse. The end.