Squash blossoms, those ephemeral sunset-hued blooms, are my farmers market weakness. With the Saturday Morning Market back in full force in St. Petersburg, I pick up a bunch of the orange-tipped blossoms whenever I see them.
So how to eat these pretty flowers? The most common preparation is to stuff them with cheese, something like ricotta or goat cheese, and fry them. This is never a bad move, but I wanted to try something different that didn't require coating the beautiful blooms. With Saturday turning into Sunday, these quick-to-perish blossoms were slated for breakfast.
The first thing that came to mind was a frittata. I envisioned one topped with squash blossoms fanned out like flames. And goat cheese, of course, because I see no reason to lose the cheese part of the common squash blossom equation. You could also substitute ricotta here.
After cleaning and prepping the blossoms (they can be gritty and buggy straight from the market), I roughly chopped a handful to be mixed in with egg, garlic and caramelized onion.
Like the squash and zucchini these flowers come from, their flavor is mild so I didn't want to overpower them with too many other ingredients. Their delicate flavor allows the other qualities of the blossom to shine. They add texture and beauty to an everyday frittata.
Next weekend, I'm folding the squash blossoms into a quesadilla.
Ileana Morales Valentine lives in St. Petersburg with her husband. For more of their kitchen stories, visit her blog, ALittleSaffron.com. Say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Squash Blossom Frittata
Squash blossoms perish quickly, so it's best to prepare and eat them soon after you pick them up from the farmers market (or from your own garden). They tend to be gritty, so you'll want to gently wash them in a bowl of cold water and dry them just before using.
18 to 20 squash blossoms
10 to 12 large eggs
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 ounces goat cheese
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut off ends of each squash blossom (about a
1/2 inch), removing the bit of stem attached and the tiny green leaves. Use your finger to shake out any pistil inside the flower and check for bugs. Roughly chop 6 to 8 of the blossoms. Leave the rest whole. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Cook onion in oil until softened and starting to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add chopped squash blossoms and stir for another minute. Pour eggs into skillet. Crumble half of the goat cheese on top and season with a pinch more of salt and pepper. (Alternatively, you can add all the cheese at this point if you want more of it to melt into the eggs.)
Place skillet on a rack in the top third of the oven and cook until eggs just start to set at edges, about 5 to 7 minutes. Top with squash blossoms (in a circle with ends toward the center) and crumble the remaining goat cheese over top; cook in oven until eggs set and cheese starts to melt, another 5 to 7 minutes. Serve.
Source: Ileana Morales Valentine