I remember the first time I ate squash blossoms.
Ryan and I were in a small, outdoor café in Italy enjoying lunch after a long, hot day of being a tourist. It was late May 2008—our first big vacation post-honeymoon—and we ate everything in sight. (FYI: Not much has changed from the way we conduct ourselves now on vacation.)
I recall spotting squash blossoms on the menu and knew we had to order them. After all, they're not in season very long. Plus, when was the next time I would be in Italy? They arrived to the table, about a half-dozen on the plate, fried and stuffed with some sort of anchovy filling. A dish to remember.
Lucky for me (and you, too!), squash blossoms aren't only available in Italy. (In fact, they're heralded in cuisines around the world for their mild zucchini flavor.) I picked them up yesterday at the Union Square Greenmarket and knew immediately how I was going to prepare them. I removed the stamen, stuffed them with a teaspoon or so of Humboldt Fog cheese and a basil leaf, dredged them in egg and seasoned flour, and fried them in vegetable oil.
The crispy coating and oozy cheese were a perfect combo, bringing me back to that café moment in Italy.
I have about half the blossoms remaining, and I plan on putting them on top of a pizza with a bit of fresh marinara and some ricotta. Time to blossom out.