VICTORY GARDENS: On Summer Squash & Their Super Tasty Flowers (In Season Now)
by Lisa Giroday, Sandra Lopuch and Sam Philips | Summer squash is going off right now, and at Victory Gardens we’ve built several street boulevard beds with varieties of summer squash. They are well situated here for their ornamental component, and they’re super prolific monsters.
When we say “squash”, we also mean zucchini, as it’s a kind of summer squash. All summer squashes are the fruits of the species Cucurbita pepo. There are a myriad of summer squashes to choose from. Our favorite to grow is the French heirloom zucchini from Provence (aka “Ronde de Nice”). It’s rounded in shape, and has variegated stripes of light and dark green.
Summer squash produces abundantly, and while we have all had our share of chocolate chip zucchini bread, the flowers are becoming more commonplace at farmers markets due to their high demand. Squash blossoms are worth making the trip to the market for because they’re so ephemeral and fragile. They’re completely seasonal, and the time to eat them is now. They’re delectable either baked or fried; sans stuffing or stuffed with ricotta (or whatever your imagination decides might be a good filling). If you’re not into cheese, try substituting with finely chopped walnuts and herbs. Both the male and female blossoms can be used.
Check out a loose recipe that can be adapted to suit your whims after the jump…
Fried Zucchini Blossoms stuffed with Ricotta
A dozen squash blossoms
1 cup cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs
1 clove minced garlic
1/3 cup flour
s&p to taste
When stuffing the blossoms with the mixture, remove the pistil (the reproductive bits) and make this the opening. Make sure the other end where the top of the petal is, is twisted closed. Stuff carefully with a tablespoon of whatever you have concocted, then dip the blossom in the egg mixture (separate bowl), coat with flour (separate bowl), and fry in a cast-iron skillet until golden. Make sure it’s hot, or you’ll have soggy blossoms.
Where to find: Check out your nearest farmers market. SOLE food sells zucchini with blossoms still on at our Mt. Pleasant Victory Market this upcoming Saturday evening, from 5-10.
Victory Gardens is a team of local urban farmers for hire. Lisa, Sandra and Sam help transform tired or underused residential and commercial green spaces into food producing gardens. Their goal is to challenge the way communities use space and to participate in the change needed to consume food more sustainably. For the rest of the growing season, they’ve hooked up with Scout to share some cool tips and tricks on how to get the best from of our own backyards.