(photo plus intriguing recipe from Dish-Trict)
I mentioned getting squash blossoms at the Farmers’ Market yesterday and Gerky asked what I did with them. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure yet! They are being carefully stored in my fridge for tonight (they are very perishable!) and I have big plans for them.
I can’t decide between Homesick Texan’s Squash Blossom Quesadillas, using them on homemade pesto pizzas (coincidentally already planned for the week’s menu sometime) like those on Former Chef, stuffing and frying or making a soup like on Seasonal Chef, or just frying them like Sassy Radish.
In the meantime, here’s a little squash blossom science courtesy of Alexandra Cooks:
Squash flowers are either male or female: male flowers are equipped with a stamen, females with a stigma. Males, more plentiful in number, stand on long, thin stems, while the females, sitting on a small, fuzzy green ball, blossom closer to the vine.
Only when a grain of pollen from the stamen lands on the stigma, will this ball turn into a squash. Pollination occurs when bees or other insects travel from flower to flower, or when the wind blows. Using a brush, humans can fertilize the plant as well by collecting pollen from the stamen and painting it onto the stigma.
But here’s the miracle: Pollination can occur on only one day in a blossom’s entire lifetime. Just before dawn, the flowers uncurl; by midday, they begin to close; and by dusk, they close, precluding pollination forever. Few flowers actually ever bear fruit. I know, I know, home gardeners can’t give away enough zucchini during the growing season. I still think it’s amazing.
Me too. And hopefully tasty. I’ll let you know!