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Squash blossoms for orzo pasta at lynnecurry.com.

How to Eat a Squash Blossom without Deep Frying

You may be so very weary of zucchini by now, but what about this edible beauty? Behold the squash blossom!

Delicate in flavor, the blossoms of zucchini and other summer squashes–from crook neck to patty pans–are a welcome change for September’s dinner repertoire.

Since the September squash blossoms are unlikely to fruit anyway, why not pluck them all {male and female flowers alike} and make something a little fun for dinner?

Squash Blossom Recipe Roundup

Sure, you can get all fancy with squash blossoms, stuffing them with goat cheese or ricotta and frying. It’s delicious and doable for anyone who a) works in a four-star restaurant and is paid to do that kind of labor, or b) is dating and wants to totally impress a fellow food lover.

Squash blossoms prepped with garlic, zucchini, chard and herbs.

For the rest of us, I searched for every day recipes that celebrate the squash blossom. Here are 5 of my favorites. The flavorings are mild to highlight the delicate squash blossom:

  1. Squash blossom quesadillas from Simply Recipes. This will change your mind if you are ho-hum about quesadillas. Divine! Chopped squash blossoms with garlic, onion and mild cheese.
  2. Flower frittata from Dunk and Crumble. Both ricotta and goat cheese tucked into gently baked eggs with chives. I’m in!
  3. Ricotta and squash blossom pizza from The Little Epicurean. A white pizza baked in a skillet. Will be making this as soon as the hot spell breaks.
  4. Farmers’ Market Quinoa Salad with Squash Blossoms from Yummy Beet. Corn, tomato and squash blossoms tossed with quick-cooking quinoa. Winner-winner squash blossom dinner!
  5. Squash blossom soup from Kitchen Konfidence. A little potato, a little poblano, an ear of corn…soup’s on!

Overhead of squash blossom pasta picnic at lynnecurry.com.

A Late-Summer Garden Supper

My own squash blossom recipe came about from a dismal garden year for us. I don’t blame the heat or the deer or the faulty irrigation system.

It’s the fact that we leave Oregon for the east coast during the prime growing season. So, after more than two weeks away, it’s no wonder that we find stunted chard, carrots and beets but thriving chickweed, nettles, mallow and dandelion.

Happily, the lettuces have headed up, the scarlet runner beans are fruiting and a few hardy cherry tomatoes cling to the thirsty plants. The herb garden is fragrant with Italian parsley, lemon thyme and basil.

So, there is just enough to forage for a simple garden supper supplemented with a box of pasta.

I show Cece how to pluck the blossoms from the potted zucchini plants—a form of population control more gardeners should try. They have a mild floral and zucchini flavor I adore.

I’m hoping you’re still finding new foods to enjoy this late summer season.

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Squash blossoms for orzo pasta at lynnecurry.com.
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Zucchini Blossom & Herb Garden Pasta

A lot of squash blossom recipes are fussy, involving stuffing and deep frying. Not this one. It's a quick sauté of zucchini and other squash blossoms tossed into cooked pasta. Substitute any cooked grain, such as quinoa, for the pasta. Serve it as a vegan/vegetarian main or as a side dish for grilled wild salmon or pasture-raised chicken.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Lynne Curry

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces one-half box orzo or other small shaped pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 6 leaves chard, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 to 24 zucchini or other squash blossoms, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed thyme blossoms or lemon thyme
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed carrot tops optional
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, zucchini, chard, salt and pepper. Stir until the garlic is fragrant and the vegetables become tender, about 4 minutes.
  3. Roughly chop the basil, parsley, carrot tops (if using and mint. Remove the cooked vegetables from the heat and toss with the zucchini blossoms and herbs until they wilt. Taste for seasoning.
  4. When the pasta is cooked, drain well and toss with the zucchini blossom and herb sauté. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with the parmesan cheese, if desired.

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