Squash blossoms aren’t the easiest to find in the market, perhaps because they don’t last long once picked. Which is why growing your own zucchini or other squash comes with major perks. Not only do summer squash plants seem to keep on giving and giving (your friends will get tired of you pawning off your surplus of giant zucchinis on them lol) but having them in your yard means you’ll have tons of fresh squash blossoms at the ready. What a treat!
How to pick squash blossoms:
You want to pick ones that haven’t yet reached the point of wilting. Even young blossoms work great, as their stiffness helps them hold up when stuffing them, but they still come out delicate and soft once cooked. The fist thing I do before picking is hold the bud open and see if anyone is using it as a home. If there are pollinators in there I leave it alone and move on the the next one. When you find a good one just snap it off the plant where the stem attaches to the base of the flower. I usually pick 2-3 flowers per person depending on the size.
How to prep squash blossoms:
Gently rinse the blossoms under a thin stream of cold water. I usually flush out the inside to make sure there aren’t any insects hiding in there. Lightly shake the water out from inside and lay out on a towel to dry. I also remove the stamen/pistil from inside (the little knot at the center of the flower). You can do this by very carefully reaching into the flower, being careful not to tear the petals, and pinching off the stamen/pistil. You can also use cooking sheers if your fingers are too big to reach without breaking the petals.
This is my new favorite summer recipe. It has all the elements of a crave worthy treat… delicately cripsy outside, creamy soft inside, notes of fresh herbs, spicy, sweet, and salty. It makes the perfect side or appetizer to any meal, and is a gorgeous treat to share with dinner guests.
HERBED GOAT CHEESE SQUASH BLOSSOMS WITH SPICY HONEY
- 6 squash blossoms, cleaned and dried
- 1 (4oz) brick of herbed chèvre goat cheese
- 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
- Kikkoman tempura batter (sub 1/2c corn starch and 1/2c flour)
- 3/4 cup ice water
- Clean high-heat frying oil such as refined avocado, coconut, or peanut
- 2 Tbs honey
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- Maldon finishing salt (sub flaked sea salt)
- (optional) 1 chopped jalapeño pepper
- In a small bowl mix the goat cheese and Panko bread crumbs by kneading them together. You can also add the chopped jalapeño if you are using one.
- Start heating about 1 inch deep of frying oil on the stove.
- Gently open up a squash blossom with one hand and stuff with about 2 Tbs of the goat cheese mixture, or enough to fill the blossom at least half way up, and pinch the blossom closed. I always think of Stranger Things at this point, as the blossoms totally resemble the demogorgon heads lol.
- Once you have all the blossoms stuffed, mix up your tempura batter according to the box instructions. If you are subbing cornstarch and flour, mix them in a small bowl with the 3/4 cup ice water. It should have the consistency of heavy cream, sort of on the watery side, not thick like pancake batter. Make sure you use ice cold water and keep the batter as cold as possible the entire time you are using it. The colder the batter, the better texture you will get on your breading. I sometimes place the batter bowl inside another bigger bowl filled with ice.
- Once your frying oil is nice and hot, one at a time dip your stuffed blossoms in the batter and place in the oil. I usually fry two at a time, but it depends on the size of your pan. You don’t want to overcrowd your pan or the oil temperature will lower and result in soggy oily breading. Once the blossom is starting to crisp on the bottom, flip it over to crisp the opposite side.
- Once the blossoms are looking nice and fried crisp, remove and place on paper towels to drain excess oil.
- Meanwhile, mix the honey and sriracha together.
- Plate the fried blossoms, drizzle with the spicy honey, and sprinkle with Maldon finishing salt. Enjoy hot!