Beautifully delicate zucchini, squash or pumpkin blossoms, stuffed with an egg, sage and cheese filling and gently sautéed, not fried!
Cooking With Blossoms
Just as summer gardens are beginning to come to life, a tiny peek of things to come pops through: Pumpkin Blossoms or late summer harvest zucchini and squash blossoms. Rarely will you find them at a market here in America since they are so delicate. So, why not plant at least one squash plant to experience what all of Italy raves over!
Growing Pumpkins and Squash For The Blossoms
Growing at least one plant in a corner of your garden is certainly worth the experience, at least once. The seed goes into the dirt, eventually green emerges and leaves begin to form. Then one morning you go to check on your innocent little zucchini plant, especially after a good rain, and it has managed to snake its way all around your garden! What happened!!
Fortunately, most critters don’t bother the leaves since they quickly become prickly and fuzzy. Most critters won’t eat a fuzzy leaf. Would you? Then, just when you are sure Jumanji has taken over your garden, these beautiful, bright yellow/orange, rather large blossoms form, peek out from under fuzzy leaves and those my friend, are the delicacy!
Blossoms Sautéed Not Fried
I can’t for the life of me understand why most chefs, even the famous ones, drown these delicate blossoms in goopy batter and toss them in boiling hot oil to kill/fry the luscious and delicate texture out of the blossom! Why? Why chefs, do you do this?
Once the flower is stuffed, a gentle sauté in a medium hot pan with either butter or olive oil is all these blossoms need. They retain their gorgeous color and much of their texture.
What To Stuff In Blossoms
While my recipe for a simple egg and cheese recipe beautifully compliments the blossom without distracting from its flavor and texture, so many other fillings would work as well.
- Crab, a dollop of mascarpone and a seafood seasoning
- Caramelized onions and bacon with a little egg
- Crimini or Shiitake mushrooms
- Ricotta and fresh garden herbs
When To Serve Blossoms?
While a lovely brunch or luncheon would be ideal for serving stuffed blossoms, they would certainly be the center of attention on any Tapas spread. Can you imagine the bright-eyes and squeals at a Bridal shower if these lovely blossoms were served!
Be certain to go out of your way at least once in your lifetime to obtain and prepare stuffed squash blossoms. You will be so happy you did!
- Blossoms – pumpkin or zucchini
- Fresh sage
- Gruyere cheese
- Panko bread crumbs
- Saute pan
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring spoons
- Cheese grater
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Stovetop or burner
Cooking With Blossoms – Not Fried
- Blossoms – 4, cleaned with stigmas/pistol removed
- Egg – 1, whipped
- Shallot – 1 tablespoon, finely chopped, lightly sautéed in a pinch of butter
- Fresh sage – 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
- Gruyere cheese – 2 tablespoons, grated
- Cream – 1 tablespoon
- Panko crumbs – 2 tablespoons
- Salt to taste
- Nutmeg – 1/4 teaspoon
- Butter – 2 tablespoons, to saute
- Gently prepare blossoms by removing the stigmas located deep in the center of the blossom. Set aside while preparing the filling.
- Whisk together the egg, shallots, sage, cheese, cream, Panko crumbs, salt and nutmeg. With a small spoon, fill inside of the prepared 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 hot pan. When butter starts to brown, gently place flowers in the pan. Just a minute or two on one side, then turn them over and put a lid on to cook the center for another minute. Remove the lid. Once you see a crust begin to form, they are done.