As you probably already know, many flowers are not only edible, but pretty delicious. Zucchini and other squash are very easy to grow where I’m from, so I’ve picked up a few great recipes using them. In this article I’ll show you three tasty recipes using the beautiful and edible flower of the zucchini squash.
Pan Fried Squash Flowers
This is a very simple recipe using a flour coating, an egg, oil (vegetable oil is fine, but I personally use a blend of vegetable and grape seed oil.), and about 12 squash flowers. You can use the male or female flowers, but males are easier to dip into the pan. (The male flowers have separate stems, the females are attached to the squash itself.) Crack an egg into a medium sized soup bowl and blend with a fork. Take about 1 ¼ cups of flour and pour it into another soup bowl, setting beside the egg somewhere close to your frying pan. Your pan will need to be deep enough to safely hold a little under 2 cups of oil.
You’ll need enough oil in your pan to completely cover the biggest flower you’ve chosen, so measure accordingly. Heat the oil in the pan until a drop of egg quickly floats to the top of the oil. This is a good way to judge the temperature for frying these flowers, since having oil too hot can crisp and burn them too much.
Once you gently rinse the flowers with cold water and the oil is hot enough, gently dip the flowers into the bowl of egg, coating it lightly and shaking off the excess back into the bowl. Then lightly toss it in the flour, shaking clean and then placing into the oil in a gently dipping motion, from a safe distance away from the pan. Turn the flowers enough to fry them golden brown, without destroying the delicate flower inside. Drain the finished flowers on a paper towel over wax paper, and leave to cool for 2 minutes before you serve.
Sweet Zucchini Omelet
This is an easy recipe that can be made for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You’ll need one or two small zucchini, depending on how many people you’re feeding. Keep the flower on the zucchini and rinse them with cold water, shaking dry gently before removing the blossom. Slice the flower into thin strips, and slice those strips in half to make short string-like strands of flower. Slice the zucchini and then cut the circles into quarters. You can also add sliced green onion, button mushroom, red onion, or red pepper. You also need 3 large eggs and half a cup of milk.
Cook the sliced zucchini and any other veggies you might add except the squash flower first in a frying pan, with just a small amount of butter. (I always like to put green onions and red peppers.) Once they begin to get a bit soft, add the squash flower and toss until warm, and then set all of the veggies aside on a separate plate.
Beat the eggs with the milk until mixed, and add salt and pepper in small dashes to taste. In a lightly buttered pan, add the egg and cool until the bottom sets slightly. Pour the veggies into the center of the egg, and when it sets a bit more, fold and flip accordingly, just like a regular omelet. Cook thoroughly on both sides and be sure to cook the center without singeing the bottom of the omelet. This is a healthy and hearty meatless meal you can enjoy any time of the day.
Prosciutto & Provolone Stuffed Squash Flower
This is one of my absolute favorite dishes to make, and to eat. You need whole fresh squash flowers, preferably male. Try to get the ones most in-tact all the way through, with a stronger more firm round end more suitable for stuffing. For the stuffing, you’ll need about 2 cups of breadcrumb, butter, sliced black olives, thin sliced prosciutto, and thin sliced provolone cheese.
Prepare the stuffing first by mixing your breadcrumb with a couple tablespoons softened butter, and just enough filtered water to make it a paste consistency. Then add one tablespoon more of softened butter, the sliced black olives (about a heaping handful), and salt and pepper to taste.
Lay a slice of prosciutto on a clean surface, and put a slice of provolone over it. Drop about two heavy spoonfuls of stuffing into the middle, and roll it up in the prosciutto and cheese sort of like an open-ended burrito. Fold an end of the roll closed, and stuff inside a cleaned fresh squash flower, folding the loose parts of the flower underneath and placing in a lightly greased baking pan. Repeat until you run out of flowers, and bake on 450 for about 30-40 minutes. If you wish, partway through the baking process, you can coat the top of the flowers with a tiny brush of olive oil and a light sprinkle of finely diced red onion. (If you like the concept of this idea but don’t eat meat, you can try using large leaves of spinach to wrap the stuffing instead.) Enjoy!