Thursday, July 14, 2011


Summer 2011, in some ways, feels like a continuation of Summer 2010... new foods, new inspirations, new traditions. Our first harvest... golden zucchini blossoms... were the centerpiece of this past Friday's feast reminding me, once again, of a wisdom my Mom passed on to me, one passed on to her by my Grandfather: Whoever has gold, has food on the table. 


Almost too forbidden to pick, the blossom's beauty on the plant is short-lived. Opening day and closing night happens in what seems like a blink, so channel your inner Eve and pluck away. Their rushed and momentary beauty, however, can be frozen in time for a day or two at the most. Both male and female flowers are edible, but even the weakest Eves should resist the temptation to remove them all from the plants. No worries if you missed your opportunity one morning; the zucchini plant is so giving, that there's always the next when the new day brings new flowers (see THE LESSON re: perfect timing). Here's just one of the many recipes readily available on the internet (and I intend to try them all). This variation takes on a twist with last year's discovery and this year's new staple... my beloved Jalapeños.

Failure To Resist Temptation

5 Zucchini Blossoms
1 Jalapeño Pepper (julienned & optional)
1 Egg
3 Tbs Flour
Olive Oil

Inspect the flowers on the plant. The ones that are open are the ones that you want. Wear gloves! The plants will pinch you if you don't. Find your flower anatomy book... the male has the stamen (single), the female, the pistil (multiple). Pick a female only if it has a baby zuke growing where the flower meets the fruit. "Prune" the male leaving a little bit of the stem. Store in the fridge to keep them fresh (but no more than a day or two). 
Beat the egg and add the milk (for 5 blossoms, about 3/4th of a cup). Stir in 3 heaping tablespoons of flour and the juliennes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip the blossoms into the batter and drench till they drip. Set aside on wax paper and heat the olive oil. Place the blossoms on the oiled pan and remove when golden brown. Serve (in this case) with a side of sautéd zucchini and indulge!

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