Today’s crispy Market Stuffed Squash Blossoms make a fabulous summer snack.
One of my favorite aspects of summer is our local farmer’s markets. I literally get giddy Friday evening thinking of what I might find the next morning.
This week I had the luxury of sneaking out of the house before anyone woke up. Gentle sunlight gleamed down on the white tent tops like a soft kiss. The colorful silhouettes and aromas were a feast for the senses. A perfect mingling of purpose and pleasure.
It’s amazing how you can walk into an almost empty market and 45 minutes later wriggle your way out of a horde of bodies hovering over tables. All are light-hearted and relaxed, no doubt, but still a swarming mass of people. It’s always best to get to the farmers market right before it opens. The first to arrive get the pick of the crop.
A good friend once asked me, “What’s so great about the farmer’s market? It’s just vegetables.”
“Everything!” I emphatically told her.
The produce is picked at dawn on the day of market, so it’s ultra fresh (meaning richer in nutrients and it lasts longer.) Almost everything is organic, and if it’s not, you can ask the grower every detail about their product. Other than veggies, you’ll find fresh local meat and seafood, local dairy and eggs, fruit, homemade baked goods, fresh pasta, soaps, candles, potted plants, homemade blankets and pillows… Many of these items are hard-to-find in stores.
This Saturday, I came home and cooked a marvelous breakfast, then set in on lunch. I found huge squash blossoms for 25 cents each!
The most common preparation for squash blossoms is stuffing them. You can fill squash blossoms with any flavorful concoction you choose, then simply twist the petals together and pan fry them.
I like to dip them first in a thin tempura-like batter, to keep all the filling from working its way out. This week I also found garlic scapes. They sound (and look) odd, but are actually just the stalks of the garlic bulb. Scapes have a milder garlic flavor and can be chopped up like a scallion.
I decided to throw them in the filling, along with local goat cheese, and basil leaves. I served the squash blossoms over a salad of endive-frisee, arugula, and basil leaves, lightly dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
These Market Stuffed Squash Blossoms were divine.
Squash blossoms are very perishable and usually won’t make it more then 24 hours. If you buy them with a baby squash attached, they last a little longer. Set them in a shallow dish of water, keeping all the petals above the waterline, to keep them open all day. Then cook them either for lunch or dinner of the same day.
Your local farmer’s market is a true culinary adventure, and not to be missed!
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