All of the sudden summer is here in full force, and it brings lots of new treats from our fields to our farm stands and CSA bags. One of the most special but underappreciated ones is squash blossoms.
Zucchini, Yellow Squash, and Patty Pan Squash all make tons of these edible flowers, but because they are so delicate and seasonal they have not gotten very popular outside of gourmet circles. But they are delicious, easy to use, and pretty so if you find them for sale you should definitely try them. Raw they have nutty flavor and can be cut up in a salad or eaten whole with dip like anything else on a vegetable plate. You can toss them on a pizza or in sauce or soup to add a burst of color, but the most popular way to cook them is to stuff them and deep fry them.
It is very simple to do. You just open the end of the blossom a little bit and pipe a little soft cheese into the bottom. My favorite filling is Riverview Dairy's chevre that we sell at our farm stand, but any soft cheese will do. Then you dip the blossom in batter and drop them in very hot oil until the batter just starts to brown. One key is to make the batter fairly runny so that the color and flavor of the blossom comes through. They are also very good battered and fried without the filling if you want to make it even easier.
Bring this beautiful and tasty dish to a party and you will be the hero.