"The Greene Thumb" July Edition: Edible Blossoms
At mid-July we are about 4-5 weeks into gardening season for Wisconsin and some of the crops can be ready to harvest. Zucchini will mature into summer squash at about 7 weeks and demands a lot of surface area. In order to not crowd my plot, I will harvest them for their blossoms and use them in their beautiful edible flower state. Eating zucchini blossoms may seem a bit foreign, but if you grew up in an Italian household, like me, it is a delicacy. The fresher they are the better they taste, which is why I grow my own. However, these days they are available at most farmers markets and even at specialty stores. Zucchini blossoms have a velvety texture and sweet squash flavor. They can be incorporated into salads or dipped in a light batter and stuffed with Ricotta, Goat Cheese and herbs then pan fried.
My favorite preparation is…
1 ½C All Purpose
12 ounces Club Soda
24 zucchini blossoms
8oz goat cheese at room temperature
4 leaves basil, torn
2 ounces Heavy Cream
Cracked Black Pepper
In a small bowl, whisk the room temp goat cheese and heavy cream together until is it spreadable but not loose. Fold in the basil and season with Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. Put the mixture into a piping bag and as delicately as possible pipe the filling into the inside of each blossom. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour and club soda until almost smooth, make sure not to over whisk or you will deflate the batter, some lumps are OK.
One at a time dunk the blossoms in the batter shaking off the excess and gently lay then in the 350 degree oil. Don’t crowd the pan. Flip once with a spatula and fry until golden brown approximately 2-3 minutes total. Drain on paper towel, give them a sprinkle more salt and enjoy!