Flower Girl

finally, squash blossoms

Mike’s away at Tales of the Cocktail, and I’m once again left to my own devices when it comes to dinner. I’ve had a bit of food-related “homework” to attend to, in preparation for a couple of things I’ll get to tell you more about soon, but aside from that, my main goal is to work through the rather excessive amount of gorgeous summer produce I brought home from the farmers’ market last weekend.

Like tomatoes, for instance. I’ll admit that the best tomatoes of the season are still a little way off, but I can’t resist loading up on the lovely local gems I’ve encountered at the markets in both Boston and in Providence. I slowly cooked these ones in a bit of olive oil with just a pinch of salt, splashing water in from time to time, gently crushing them as they softened and got almost syrupy sweet, and finally pressing them through a strainer to remove any skins and seeds, leaving behind a rich, jammy tomato reduction.

lined up

I stuffed my cleaned squash blossoms with my usual mixture of fresh ricotta, soft chevre, salt, lemon zest, and a good amount of finely chopped fresh herbs – in this case parsley, basil from the patio, and summer savory. After piping the cheese mixture into the blossoms (I use the super-fancy zip-top plastic bag with a corner cut off for this), I set the stuffed blossoms in the fridge for a bit to firm up before dipping them in flour, then buttermilk, then another dip in flour (a tip from our friend Derrick that gives my favorite crisp-light result). I fried them in a 2:1 mix of olive oil and grapeseed oil until crisp and golden, and instead of sprinkling flaky salt over them as they came out of the oil as I do for other fried goodies, I grated a little Pecorino Romano over the fried blossoms.

Dinner: July 20, 2010

I spooned the tomato reduction onto a plate and arranged my little golden flowers on top, adding a little finely chopped parsley for color and a pop of freshness. And then, I ate. And this doesn’t happen often, but I was pretty darned happy that I didn’t have to share.

14 thoughts on “Flower Girl

  1. Liz the Chef says:

    Beautiful – I have yet to try squash blossoms and will try out your recipe. Cute title, flower girl 😉 Thanks – hope your guy comes home soon, Liz

  2. So pretty! I love making a little sauce from cherry tomatoes. A few years ago, the NYT published a simple tomato confit recipe that I use to make a quick sauce- 2 pts cherry tom. + 2 crushed garlic + 1 rosemary sprig + some olive oil in the oven at 325 for about an hour. Smoosh through a strainer and voila. Makes the house smell intoxicating.

  3. Sue says:

    Jen, you promised me some blossoms and you came through! They look fabulous and you make it look so easy. For the rookie here, how does one ‘clean” a blossom before stuffing? Thank you! I intend to go grab a few from the community garden and try it out and I won’t share either!!!

  4. Christine says:

    Yum! I’ve never made squash blossoms before, but it looks like it is high time to get over my fears of frying to make this.

  5. I am so jealous of those squash blossoms. When I’m home along I eat crackers and cheese, or jiffy pop.
    -I’m making a trip to the Providence Farmer Market this Saturday, (much bigger than the roslindale, ma one I usually frequent) can you reccomend a guide / site in case there is something I shouldn’t miss?

  6. Debbie says:

    You are so creative – I wouldn’t want to share either. Wonderful pictures, they make my mouth water.

  7. Patricia says:

    He probably knows…but tell Mike to book a lunch or dinner at Boucherie while he’s in New Orleans. I live in NOLA, and Boucherie is my new favorite restaurant–homemade everything including charcuterie and pickles, yum!

  8. Jennifer Hess says:

    Dale – yum, indeed!

    Liz – thank you!

    Mrs W – Oh, that sounds fantastic.

    Sue – thanks! To clean, I gently open the blossom, shake out any little critters that might be hiding in there (I’ve had a bee once, so be careful!), then I gently remove the stamen. I’ve found a grapefruit spoon works perfectly!

    Margie – thank you 🙂

    Christine – do it! It’s so worth it 😉

    maggie – thank you, sweetie!

    Elle – check out the Farm Fresh RI website (http://www.farmfreshri.org/), and if you see me, please say hello!

    Debbie – thanks so much!

    Patricia – I’ve forwarded your message to him, and he says thanks!

  9. Molly Lamarche says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    It’s Molly Sullivan – wanted to come to your site and check out some of your recipes. Everything is so gorgeous – my mouth is watering. I’m going to try your tomato reduction tomorrow. Do you take all your own photographs as well? Amazing.

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