Zucchini has a bit of a reputation as a plentiful vegetable in the garden this time of year. Creative use of this squash can yield some interesting and delicious recipes. But we’re not here to talk zucchini…
Courgette flowers are delicate specimens and as so they don’t wield any spectacular nutritional values. A full cup contains only 5 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates and less than a gram of protein. Though they are high in calcium, iron, potassium, folate, vitamins A & C. In a nutshell however, you’ll have to eat an awful lot of flowers to receive any health benefits worth mentioning. Depending on if and how they’re cooked this profile will certainly change. As these flowers are incredibly delicate, they are also very perishable. You’re unlikely to find them in a grocery store, but try the farmers market downtown on Saturdays. Alternatively start planning out what kind of squash you’re growing in your backyard next summer!
The beautiful orange flower that grows off of the end of the vegetable in question (or any squash for that matter!) is not only edible, but (gasp!) delicious! If you’re thinking “there’s no way I’m serving flowers for dinner” you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised. A preparation of battering and frying them is most common, but there are endless things you can do with these summer beauties…
I think my favourite simple summer recipe that I’ve come across for squash blossoms is from Melissa Clark with the New York Times:
1 cup pitted mixed black olives, coarsely chopped
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish
12 squash blossoms
1 piece burrata or buffalo mozzarella
Coarse sea salt
In a food processor, combine olives, anchovy, garlic, rosemary and lemon zest. Using the pulse button, process until coarsely chopped and well blended. Continue to process, slowly adding 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Cut a lengthwise slit in each blossom. Spoon about 1 tablespoon burrata and 1/2 teaspoon tapenade into each blossom (you may not use all of the cheese or tapenade). Pinch closed. Transfer blossoms to a platter. Drizzle generously with oil and sprinkle with salt.