Everybody has heard the old saying, that during the summer, people’s squash plants grow so rapidly and abundantly, that they have to put them on their neighbor’s porches in the middle of the night just to get rid of them! Well, there is another way – which is far tastier. Just take the flowers, and make stuffed squash blossoms!
Well, we have been having the opposite problem in our garden this year – an abundance of beautiful blossoms, but only a few fruits just beginning. We weren’t sure – was the soil missing nutrients? Or maybe the soil temperature just wasn’t hot enough? Last year we got our squashes in too late and they were killed off by an early frost. This year we started them indoors and they turned out beautiful, but we were beginning to worry that we were going to have another dud crop this year – which would be so disappointing as we planted a TON for winter storage.
So I started doing some research into the matter. There are male and female squash blossoms and in the beginning of the season, the vine produces primarily male blossoms. The females are the fruit producing blossoms, and the males, do not produce fruit. I learned that it is the pollen from the male blossom that is needed for the female blossom to turn into fruit. This of course is done by bees and other insects, which is why the bee issue is so important to gardeners (and should be to anyone that eats). Luckily, both male and female blossoms grow on the same vine, and so if there are enough bees buzzing around, there shouldn’t be any pollination problems.
How can you tell a female blossom from a male? Female blossoms have a bump or immature mini fruit between the blossom and the stem, and the males lack the bump.
So if you have too many fruits, you can use some female blossoms to make the stuffed blossoms. If you don’t want to lose any fruits, be sure to use the male blossoms, since those will not produce fruit anyway.
This is perfect for a quick and easy summer treat. Very little prep time/work and ingredients you probably have on hand.
Herbed Chevre Stuffed Squash Blossoms
6 squash blossoms (any kind of squash will do!)
¼ cup chevre
1 TBS of fresh herbs minced – I used a mixture of thyme, basil and chives
1 egg – beaten
Place about an inch of olive oil in the bottom of a skillet (I use cast iron) and heat it up slowly on low heat. Wash the blossoms and gently pat the dry, remove the blossom stamens any seeds or unwanted hitchhikers. In a small bowl mix the chevre and herbs together. Using your fingers, get a small amount of the chevre mixture and place in the blossoms (some people like piping the mixture out of a pastry bag, but fingers work just as well). Then dip the stuffed blossom in the egg and place in the hot oil. Fry on each side for about a minute, or until brown. Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack with a paper towel to drain and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately.