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Posts Tagged ‘squash blossoms’

squash_3613

If you’ve read my ramblings for awhile you have come across my chats about winter squashes (for instance, February 19, 2009) and know that I do like cooking with them.  Their inherent sweetness appeals to my deep-seated sweet tooth and makes me feel as though I’ve been indulgent when, in fact, I’ve just eaten something very good for me.  This fall I have been cutting winter squash into slices or pieces (depending upon the size) and roasting it just to the point where the edges turned dark brown and begin to crisp.  This seems to highlight the caramelly, slightly bittersweet flavor that I love.  All you have to do is scrub the skin, cut the squash up, toss it with olive oil, a little sweetener (I use saba {a syrupy drizzle made from grape must}, but you could use maple syrup, brown sugar, probably even a sugar replacement if you’re on a diet) – just a little, don’t overpower the squash, and salt and pepper.  Pour the whole thing into a baking sheet and roast at 350ºF for about 30 minutes or so – again, depending on the size of your pieces.  If you do this with smaller squashes – like acorn – cut the squash in half, lengthwise, seed, leave the skin on, and then cut, crosswise, into slices.  The crisped slices look so inviting on the plate.

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I guess that the over-abundance of zucchini and other summer squashes is what led to the frequent finding of fresh squash blossoms in the farmers market – and sometimes even in specialty food stores.  But, not only do they need to be very fresh off the vine, they are so beautiful and delicate that it makes it particularly difficult to cook with them.  A few weeks ago, I ordered them in a very popular (and highly rated) restaurant only to be served a group of large, flat, over-breaded somethings – there was not a sign that a blossom had ever existed under the thick coating of crunch.
The squash blossoms I bought at the farmers market on Sunday were a bit wilted so I had to move quick.  I had a little bit of ham in the fridge along with some mozzarella, so I made a tiny bit of stuffing, filled the blossoms as best as I could (they all tore so easily) with the ham and cheese mix, no breading this time.  Just fried them in some extra virgin olive oil and served them sprinkled with bread crumbs and toasted pine nuts.  Didn’t look wonderfully appetizing, but they made a delicious lunch treat.

 

 

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