Short-Season Treat: Squash Blossoms

Squash blossoms are an ephemeral treat you don’t want to miss! Savor them with our recipe for Squash Blossom Tempura.

| June/July 2011

  • Squash Blossom
    You can find squash blossoms at farmers markets and specialty grocers, but act fast! If you’re growing squash at home, you won’t compromise your harvest by plucking some of these beauties.
    PHOTO: FOTOLIA

  • Squash Blossom

Squash plants produce pretty yellow blossoms. Some of these will be pollinated, which means fat, little squash babies will soon emerge from the blossom’s base. These are female zucchini blossoms. But the other blossoms — those long, gorgeous male blooms — won’t produce a fruit, and may as well be enjoyed by you! You can find squash blossoms at farmers markets and specialty grocers, but act fast! If you’re growing squash at home, you won’t compromise your harvest by plucking some of these beauties. (Careful when picking — bees love them, too.)

Squash blossoms are absolutely scrumptious sautéed in butter or baked stuffed with breadcrumbs, herbs and cheese. You can also chop them up to add to fresh green salads. To use squash blossoms, first trim the stem to half an inch, remove the slender stamens within, rinse in cool water and pat dry.

Squash Blossom Tempura Recipe

Steering clear of fried foods is generally wise, but squash blossoms are such a rare delight that you should feel free to fry them to your heart’s content! This classic tempura batter is super-light and super-special, just like the pretty blossoms within. If you want a more decadent dish, fill the blossoms with herbed goat cheese before dipping them in the batter.

Ingredients: 



10 squash blossoms
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
2 twists freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 tsp (or more!) hot Sichuan or cayenne pepper, ground
Enough vegetable oil to fill frying pan to about 3 inches
 

For tempura batter:






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