It was late summer, 1979. My husband and I were just getting started with our house painting business in Connecticut. We landed a three story home owned by a very hospitable older Italian woman. She kindly asked us to have lunch in the garden with her. I was impressed by the garden, so beautiful and healthy. Obviously gardening was the key to her youthful vigor.
For lunch she served fried squash blossoms and chocolate zucchini cake. Unheard of fare for 1979! I guess we looked like we needed a little fattening up, she gave us the recipes for both and several more lunches as well!! (How did she know I didn’t know how to cook a thing?!)
Since then pan fried squash blossoms have been my favorite summer meal. I really grow the squash just to get the blossoms (well, chocolate zucchini cake isn’t bad either).
To begin, collect male squash blossoms in the morning before about 10:00am. By noon the flowers close. There will be plenty of bees but they won’t bother you. Look specifically for the male flowers as these will not produce fruit. Leave a few for pollination.
These are the female flowers, don’t pick these if you want the plant to produce squash.
Now that you have about 6 flowers per person, lay them on a plate with wet paper towels. Flatten slightly and cover with more wet paper towels. You can set up several layers if necessary on one plate.
Pop in the frig. In the evening, when you are ready for your meal set up two shallow bowls. In one you will need 1 egg and 1/8cup of water, the other will have 1/2cup of bread crumbs and 1/3 cup of panko. (Panko is optional but it gives a nice texture.) These amounts will make approx 6 flowers.
Heat several tblsps of olive oil in a frying pan. Dip flowers in egg, then bread crumbs and fry until lightly brown.
That’s it! They are great with or without sauces or condiments. A cold quinoa and wild rice salad is a nice additon, maybe a small spinach salad as well.
Fabulous vegetarian meal. So yummmm!