Thursday, June 30, 2011

CSA #12 - Squash Blossoms!

We pick up our CSA box every Wednesday and this past Wednesday we devoured 3 of our CSA goodies right away. Before I get to what we made (squash blossoms!), here's what we got this week:

~ red radish bunch, Nu Way Farm, CF
~ pint strawberries~ green onion bunch, Nu Way Farm, CF
~ pint sugar snap peas, Blue Goose Farm, CNG~ 1 zucchini, Weeping Willow Farm, CF
~ 1 patty pan squash, Clarion River Organics, OG~ Jericho Romaine lettuce head, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG
~ squash blossoms, Clarion River Organics, OG~ flat parsley, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG
~ Red Dazzler lettuce head, Clarion River Organics, OG
**(OG-Certified Organic/CNG-Certified Natural Grown/CF-Chemical Free)

We gave the radishes, parsley, green onions, and zucchini to our CSA sharer. We took the patty pan squash and all the squash blossoms. Everything else was split. Let's get to the squash blossoms!When we first received these a couple of years ago in the CSA, we were sort of mystified. They're flowery, and kind of fuzzy, and kind of delicate. The ones we have received in the past were larger, more yellow, and more 'open' than these blossoms. Thanks to some internet research, we found several ways to prepare these. Usually we receive only 3-4 a year and we've always stuffed them with ricotta and basil, dredged them in a beaten egg & then in flour, and fried them in olive oil. This year, we did something similar.The July 2011 issue of Bon Appetit had a page called "Flower Power" on which they offered a basic recipe and 2 variations for what they call "summer's crispiest, most delicious starter." We planned to try variation #2 but discovered our ricotta was moldy, so we improvised and created our own variation.We chopped the remainder of our fresh mozzarella and some feta cheese, added chopped fresh mint, pepper, and some lemon zest, and stuffed the blossoms with that mixture. We mixed the flour and kosher salt with club soda instead of beer. After dipping the blossoms in the flour-soda mixture, we fried them in a bit of olive oil. And then enjoyed! Yum! I actually like the mozzarella-feta-mint-lemon filling much more than ricotta-fresh basil. These are a little bit of work, not difficult, they just take a bit of time, but they are definitely very tasty. We now really look forward to squash blossoms every year.

We don't have a set recipe. If we have filling left over after stuffing the blossoms, we just eat it. I think a general guideline is a tablespoon of filling for each blossom, so I guess you could figure out 1 tablespoon of cheese for each blossom plus whatever seasonings you want (lemon, mint, basil, parsley, whatever).We ate the snap peas right away, too. We sauteed them in olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Yum!

It should be no surprise that we also ate the strawberries right away, too!

The squash will keep for a while, so really all we have left is the lettuce. The CSA goodies vanished so quickly it's as if we never even got any!

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