Bitter Socialite: Squash Blossoms
Take advantage of all the bright, squash blooms prominent in the garden this time of year by stuffing and frying them. Squash blossoms lend themselves well to all kinds of fillings, such as cheese or herbs, and they can be topped with any variety of toppings such as honey or bacon. The flower itself has a delightful spicy flavor that melts in the mouth. A batter made from a flour/cornmeal mixture adds a nice crunch to the delicate petals and is light enough to preserve the blooms’ texture. Harvest the blossoms in the early morning, using a sharp knife to separate from the stem.
6–8 squash blossoms
8 ounces Brie, cut into 1-ounce chunks
3 tablespoons fresh chives and rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 large egg Vegetable oil
Honey, for drizzling
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1. Prepare the blossoms by first removing the stamen inside the flower. Wash thoroughly and check to ensure no dirt or debris is present. Slice Brie and place inside flower, along with a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Gently press petals together to seal. Repeat for remaining blossoms.
2. Meanwhile, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, thyme, and cayenne in a medium bowl; stir well. Crack egg into a shallow bowl and stir well with a fork.
3. Dredge blossoms first into egg, and then into cornmeal mixture, adequately coating both sides.
4. Fry blossoms in a cast iron skillet containing 1/4 inch of hot vegetable oil. Brown each side, turning once. Remove from the skillet and drain on a paper towel. Transfer to a platter and serve warm, topped with a drizzle of honey and crumbled bacon
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