Original Post by: Katie Workman | Food Network | Published on: 07/17/2016
On the end of every growing zucchini or summer squash you will find a vibrant yellow-orange flower — the blossom — which is a vegetable in its own right. Zucchini blossoms are fragile and delicately flavored, a little sweeter and more ephemeral than the flavor of the squash itself. The blooms are naturally soft, but pick those that look fresh, not droopy, with mostly closed buds.
They are most often served sauteed or battered and fried, and are frequently stuffed first, often with some sort of creamy cheese filling. They can also be baked, even steamed, or served raw, often in salads or as a garnish for pastas, risottos, soups or other cooked dishes. They can also be stuffed and enjoyed raw, which means you get to taste the subtle flavor without distraction.
Zucchini blossoms should be kept in the fridge, and really don’t last more than a day or two. If you find them at a farmers market, grab them, and cook them right away. Don’t wash them (that may not feel quite right, but they are so delicate that the minute you rinse them they will wilt). You do, however, want to remove the pistil or the stamens from the center (there are both male and female flowers that grow on the vegetable, both edible, but there is different plant anatomy inside). Some recipes suggest removing the stems, but that makes the blossoms even more fragile to handle, plus the stem is both edible and delicious. Zucchini blossoms contain vitamins A and C, and some iron and calcium, but they aren’t a major source of any nutrients, given their light critical mass.
Here are some zucchini blossoms recipes:
Fried Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms by Giada De Laurentiis
Total Time:16 min
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sparkling water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/3 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 green onion, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
8 zucchini blossoms* see Cook’s Note
Vegetable oil, for frying
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, water and salt until smooth. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, basil, and green onion. Mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons filling into each blossom. Close the blossoms and gently twist the petals to seal.
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F. (If you don’t have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 1 minute.) Dip the stuffed zucchini blossoms in the batter and allow any excess batter to drip off. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Allow the cooked blossoms to drain on paper towels.
- Season with salt and serve with your favorite marinara sauce or vinaigrette.
Serving Suggestion: serve with your favorite marinara sauce or vinaigrette
Cook’s Note: Zucchini blossoms can be found at farmer’s markets and specialty grocery stores. As an alternative, try using baby bell peppers. Cut off the tops and remove the seeds. Fill with the cheese mixture and dip the cut end in flour before dipping in the batter.
Squash Blossom Frittata Squares by Food Network Kitchen
Total Time:35 min
- Soak 1/2 cup bread cubes in 1/2 cup milk, 5 minutes.
- Whisk with 4 eggs, and salt and pepper.
- Add 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and grated parmesan, 6 chopped stemmed squash blossoms, 1 grated garlic clove and 1 shredded yellow squash.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small ovenproof skillet; add the egg mixture and cook 5 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees F until set, 20 minutes.
Cut into pieces.
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Zucchini Noodles by Anne Burrell
Total Time:50 min
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms:
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 1/2 cups soft goat cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 bunch chives, chopped
8 zucchini blossoms, stamens removed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large zucchini, julienned
One 4-ounce block Parmesan cheese
2 cups arugula
- Special equipment: a piping bag
- For the blossoms: Heat the oil to 375 degrees F in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
- Combine the goat cheese, Parmesan, parsley and chives in a medium bowl. Season with salt. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag; cut a hole in the bag. Gently pipe the mixture into the zucchini blossoms and pinch the ends together a bit.
- Whisk together the flour and white wine in a medium bowl. Working in batches so you don’t crowd the pot, dip each blossom into the batter and then carefully place in the hot oil.
- Cook until lightly puffed and golden, about 3 minutes. Remove the blossoms from the oil and drain on paper towels. Season with salt immediately.
- For the noodles: Coat a large skillet with some olive oil, add the anchovy, garlic, oregano and some red pepper flakes, and turn the heat to medium. When the garlic gets brown and aromatic, remove it from the skillet and discard. Add the tomatoes, some salt, and 1/4 cup water. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the water is reduced by about half.
- Remove the skillet from the heat, add the zucchini noodles and toss until just wilted. Taste and season.
- Toss the arugula with some olive oil and salt and divide it among 4 dinner plates. Top the arugula with some zucchini pasta and 2 zucchini blossoms, shave some Parmesan over the tops, and serve.
Crispy Squash Blossoms Filled with Pulled Pork and Ricotta by Bobby Flay
Total Time:6 hr 50 min
Inactive:2 hr 10 min
Cook:4 hr 10 min
Yield:15 to 20 appetizer servings
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
Braised Pork, recipe follows
Salt and pepper
20 squash blossoms
Canola oil or peanut oil, for frying
Rice Batter, recipe follows
Black Pepper Vinaigrette, recipe follows
- Place the ricotta in a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and let drain in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Discard liquid.
- Combine the strained ricotta and shredded pork in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Fill each squash blossom with the pork-cheese mixture and twist the top of the blossom to secure the filling while frying.
- Fill a large, heavy saucepan halfway with oil and heat on the stove until the temperature reaches 360 degrees F.
- Dredge each filled squash blossom in the rice batter to coat completely. Fry the squash blossoms in batches until lightly golden brown, turning once. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
- Drizzle some of the black pepper vinaigrette in the center of a serving plate and place 2 squash blossoms on top for each serving. Serve hot.
1 (2-pound) pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cups your favorite BBQ sauce
2 cups rice vinegar
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place pork cubes in a medium roasting pan.
- Stir together the BBQ sauce, vinegar, and onion and then pour mixture over the pork and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pan with foil and cook in the oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
- Let cool in the braising liquid, then drain the liquid from the meat and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
2 cups cold water
2 cups rice flour
- Whisk together water and flour until smooth and season with salt. Let sit 10 minutes before using.
Black Pepper Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Combine vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and honey in a blender. With the machine running, slowly add the oil until emulsified.
Reference Article: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2016/07/what-do-i-do-with-zucchini-blossoms/