How many of you have ever eaten a squash blossom? I never had, although my husband grew up eating them. (Honestly, my family never even grew summer squash!) For a short time, I worked on a farm that sold squash blossoms, but even then I didn’t try eating any. I decided to rectify that oversight this year, when I saw that a couple of our squash plants were producing lots of flowers.
Squash plants produce both male and female flowers. The males provide pollen, and the females turn into squash. You can tell the difference because female flowers usually have a swollen tiny squash behind the flower.
I picked a dozen and a half squash blossoms in the morning, before it got too hot, and promptly bagged them and stuck them in the refrigerator. They closed up a little bit, but not as much as I was expecting. If you want to make stuffed squash blossoms, the key is to pick them early and refrigerate right away. Once they close up and twist on the end, they are too hard to get open again to stuff.
The bottom row of flowers are from the zucchini plants and the bigger, frillier flowers are from the acorn squash. Zucchini flowers, for whatever reason, are sturdier flowers that don’t get torn as easily.
I washed the flowers to get rid of any ants that were hanging out and trimmed the stems flat on the base of the flower. I also trimmed the little green pointy bits (sepals or calyx…my botany is failing me!), because my husband doesn’t like them.
My husband made up a batter of flour, salt, pepper, and spices. (I don’t actually know what he used. Use whatever you like. I know there was a little bit of cayenne pepper in there.) He also beat an egg to assist in the dredging. We dunked the flowers in the egg and then in the flour mixture.
Beautiful, golden brown, and ready to eat! They were definitely tasty. Now, we only used male flowers. If you want to keep your squash population under control, you can start picking female flowers. That would make quick work of several zucchini at one time.
If you want to try eating squash blossoms, your best bet is to plant some squash or find a neighbor who will let you harvest blooms. I haven’t seen any squash blossoms being sold at any of our local farmers markets, so you’ll have to grow your own!