Just as summer gardens are beginning to come to life, a tiny peek of autumn pops through: Pumpkin Blossoms! Rarely will you find them at the market, since they are so delicate, and perhaps you may never go out of your way to prepare these lovely flowers as an appetizer, but if you do, you will discover that it was worth every effort to taste these little lovelies!
Clipping the stems, and pulling the stigmas, (little tubulars inside) are your only real task in prepping these flowers to be stuffed with anything you can imagine. They don’t hold much inside, which makes them perfect for, meze, tapas, or appetizer dishes. Two bites! I have stuffed these with sage, eggs, and Gruyere, but crab would be a perfect alternative, as would be caramelized onions and bacon.
Yields four blossoms
– Pumpkin blossoms – 4 cleaned with stigmas removed
– Egg – 1 whipped
– Shallot – 1 tablespoon chopped
– Sage – 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped fine
– Salt – 1 teaspoon
– Nutmeg – ¼ teaspoon
– Gruyere Cheese – 2 tablespoons grated or chopped fine
– Cream – 1 tablespoon
– Panko Crumbs – 2 tablespoons
– Butter – 2 tablespoons
Blend all ingredients, (except butter) into a bowl. With a small spoon, gently fill inside of the cleaned flower blossoms. Gently take the tops of each petal and gather them together and give a twist to close the tops.
Place butter in a medium heated hot pan. When butter starts to brown, gently place flowers in the pan and enjoy the sizzle. Just a minute or two on one side, then turn them over and put the lid on (to cook the center). Another minute or two until you see a crust begin to form. They are done!
Many recipes are created in a variety of ways to prepare these lovely blossoms: some with a batter, some to drop into hot oil and fry, but honestly… they are so delicate that I would hate to drown them in batter or fry the color out of their lovely petals. And so, a gentle sear with butter in a medium hot pan is all these pumpkin beauties need!