Great Zucchini Blossom Ideas

Fried Zucchini Blossoms from Blue Basil Cafe and CateringSummer is upon us, creating wonderful produce! Wonderful things like Zucchini Blossoms.

Hopefully you are lucky enough to have your own garden or perhaps access to a cooperative or neighborhood garden. I have planted my summer garden, mostly heirloom varieties, black tomatoes, purple tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, green striped tomatoes, Bavarian merlot lettuce, wild arugula, chocolate peppers, lemon cucumbers, and many others.

My favorite summer vegetable is zucchini. But perhaps not for the reason you might think- not for the delicious squash, but for the blossoms! These are truly my favorite! Each plant will produce lots and lots of flowers.

Want to try this? One word of advice- make sure you only pick the male flowers (the flowers with no squash behind it). Harvesting the flowers early in the morning is the best time, too.

To clean the blossoms grab the stem and peel off the barbs at the base of the flower. Next (A needle nose pliers works best) grab the stamen and gently pull it out. Now you are ready to cook!

With the plain blossoms you can create an exotic omelet with scallions and Swiss. How about a risotto with squash blossoms, saffron, fresh Parmigiano.

I prefer to stuff my flowers; imagine a flower stuffed with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella, and rolled in flour, dipped in beaten egg, and then fried in canola oil until brown. You can serve them atop tomato coulis; garnish with pesto oil. Magnificent!

In one of my restaurants (from a time since past) a customer favorite appetizers was zucchini flowers stuffed with jumbo lump crab meat, finished off with an orange beurre blanc sauce. This was exquisite!

So don’t leave your zucchini blossoms dying on the vine! Harvest them and enjoy.

Happy cooking!

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