If you haven’t yet noticed my obsession with edible flowers, this post will make it completely apparent. One of my favorite summer lunches is lightly fried zucchini blossoms. I simply stuff them with a small spoonful of goat cheese and then dip them in a gluten free batter before pan frying them. These are so simple to make and absolutely beautiful, but it was only two years ago that I even learned about eating squash blossoms.I was wandering the International Farmer’s market and stopped by the booth for Mosby Farm. They’re a favorite of mine as they partner with us donating produce for the Healthy Cooking on a Tight Budget Program, but at the time I just knew them as the farm near Eric’s parents.
I surveyed their produce, not really planning to buy anything because it was my first year doing a CSA and we had plenty of produce. Then I saw the squash blossoms.
They were a cheerful golden yellow that practically glowed. The petals were so thin they were transparent, lined with orange veins, like the crepe paper skin of an elderly woman, yet I could tell they were moist and fresh. At the base of each flower, as if nature intended them to be held in a bridal bouquet, a perfectly miniature green zucchini or yellow squash handle.
I asked the woman at the booth, “what do you do with those?” “Oh you have to deep fry them!” she replied gleefully.
“Fry them? No, really.” I deep fry food maybe twice a year and I certainly wasn’t planning to do it to those delicate beautiful flowers.
“Trust me honey, it’s heaven on a plate.”
Skeptical, I bought 4 at $1 each. I took them home, battered them in some tempura from a box, and fried them. She was SO right!
The very next day the farmer for my CSA said, “Oh by the way, if you want any zucchini blossoms you can take some too.” SOLD!
Now I’ve experimented, I’ve stuffed the flowers with various fillings, I’ve tried different batters or even no batter. But this is now my go to recipe for squash blossoms. I love it so much that this year I planted my own zucchini plant FOR THE FLOWERS!
I made my tempura batter gluten free because whenever I have a chance to make a gluten free recipe using ingredients I commonly have, I do it. This time, instead of using all purpose flour and cornstarch, I used rice flour and cornstarch.
I always have rice flour around for making mochi (which I totally need to do a post or three on!). You can get it in most grocery stores, but it will be cheaper in Asian stores. Even if the packaging is not in English, I can usually find it in the flour section, or even in the food section of an Asian dollar store. You want to make sure it’s 100% rice flour. The 100% on the front of the package was a good indicator.
But even better, the back of the package had a little ingredients sticker in English.
I make my batter kind of thick and then sort of squeeze it off of the blossoms. I like to leave the baby zucchini attached sometimes, they’re super delicious fried along with the blossoms. Keep in mind that these won’t be a golden brown like some fried foods because the cornstarch and rice flour don’t brown like all purpose flour will.
I don’t use any kind of dipping sauce, just a little salt. But the goat cheese stuffing is a necessity for me. It’s a warm, gooey, creamy center with a tangy flavor that balances out the fattiness of frying the blossoms.
Okay, I’m dying to know. Have you had zucchini or squash blossoms? How did you discover them? How do you like to eat them?
- 1/2 cup high heat oil (canola, coconut, rice bran)
- 6 squash or zucchini blossoms
- 6 TBS goat cheese
- 1/3 cup rice flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1 egg yolk
- to taste salt
- Heat your oil on high in a Frying pan.
- Inspect your blossoms. If there is any dirt or bugs, rinse lately and dry thoroughly. Carefully fill the bottom of each blossom with a TBS of goat cheese.
- Whisk together your flours in a small bowl.
- In a larger bowl whisk together the water and egg yolk. Mix in the flours until a batter is formed. (You can add additional ice water for a thinner batter)
- Dip your blossoms in the batter and coat them evenly, wiping off excess.
- Drop a bit of batter in the oil, if it immediately sizzles your oil is hot enough. Place 2-3 blossoms in the oil at a time. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until very crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Approximate cost/serving: This hardly cost me a thing because I grew my own blossoms (my zucchini plant was just $1). The remaining ingredients cost me just $2 with the costliest ingredient being the goat cheese. I find goat cheese the cheapest at Sam’s Club. I have three of these for lunch or one as a side dish so that’s just 33-66 cents a serving. If you buy these at a farmer’s market add around $1 for each blossom, but first I’d ask if any of your neighbors are growing zucchini!
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: While vegetarian there is egg and cheese so it’s not vegan. No adjustments needed for gluten free.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 317Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 169mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.