A delicacy found only in the early growing seasons of spring and fall, squash blossoms are the quiet humble parents of zucchini. The beautiful vein leafed yellow flowers are the first signs of a good vegetable harvest and easily overlooked as a harvest themselves. Because there are usually more male flowers than female flowers, the males (no squash attached) can be harvested and enjoyed in salads, pastas, quiches, or anything your taste buds can imagine. I think that there is something inherently magical about flowers, whether giving life to a home or love to a dear friend, or yes, even filling our bellies. There is definitely something special about nourishing ourselves with flowers! I was happily surprised to find a bagful of these blossoms in our weekly CSA from Indieplate, which just so happened to be dropped off a few days before my birthday. I didn't have a specific plan or recipe in mind, but my growling stomach and a few other fresh ingredients I had on hand made for a perfect afternoon birthday treat. So here is my southern take on this beautiful magical food, because my taste buds think the best way to enjoy them is deep fried with sunshine, bare feet, and most certainly fresh strawberry beer.
1/2 cup feta
1 ounce cream cheese
1 handful of pecans
5 squash blossoms
3/4 cup flour
Pinch of sea salt
6 ounces Parish Brewing Co. Strawberry Canebrake (can substitute beer of choice or club soda)
Canola or vegetable oil
Gently wash the blossoms and pat dry. Add about an inch of oil to a medium pot and heat on medium-high.
In a small food processor, combine the feta and cream cheese and process until you get a nice whipped creamy consistency (about 30 seconds). Add in the pecans and blend until the nuts have been coarsely chopped and blended into the feta.
Add the flour to a mixing bowl with the pinch of salt. Lightly whisk in the beer. Gently tease open each blossom and use a small spoon and your fingers to add 1-2 teaspoons of your feta filling. Gently close the blossom and twist the ends of the petals together. Drench each into the prepared batter and let any excess drip away. Fry each blossom in the oil separately for about a minute, using a slotted spoon to flip the blossom halfway through. Remove the blossoms from the oil and lay on a plate lined with a towel to absorb any excess oil while the blossoms cool.