Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Farmers Market Fun

While visiting Ginny this weekend, we ventured out to the local Iowa City Farmers Market in search of....well....anything interesting. See, since I’m deprived of foodie stimulation the vast majority of the time, when I visit Ginny, we nearly always have a food-intensive weekend. This weekend, although planned at the last minute, was no different.

Something I have often heard of since moving to the country, but had yet to try, is squash blossoms. Even though I have had a ton of them in my own garden this year, I still didn’t try this at home. But, wandering through the booths at the market on Saturday, we ran across little baskets of squash blossoms, and we just couldn’t resist grabbing some up.
For those of you that have never done this, I highly recommend it. The idea is to stuff the cavity of the blossom with some kind of filling, then moisten the filled blossom, and dust in with cornstarch (my husband would say “egg, flour, and cracker crumbs”, but I say that is overkill on something this delicate) before deep frying.
In our case, we chose to use two different kinds of fillings so that we could decide which one we liked better, For half the batch, we mixed goat cheese with a little half and half to thin it out, and mixed in crumbled up bacon. The other half of the blossoms were graced with some of the wonderful White Stilton cheese with apricots that we picked up at the Mennonite cheese shop down the road.

Now, while we liked the goat cheese and bacon version, the White Stilton was definitely the winner. Something about the lightness of the cheese and the sweet undertones of the apricots really complemented the delicacy of the blossoms, instead of overshadowing it.
You don’t have to worry much about the filling leaking out of the blossoms while frying if you carefully pinch the open end of the blossom after filling it, as the sticky cheese holds the petals together.

The blossoms only take a minute to fry up, and come out of the pan crispy and a little nutty tasting on the outside, which is then offset by the rich filling inside.
One word of caution if you make these – either don’t invite anyone else over to join you, or buy a whole truckload of them, because they will be gone in a flash, leaving you wishing for more!

What a fabulous little late summer treat! I’ll be planting squash next year, just so I can have these all summer long!


Alwayzbakin said...

I've never seen those before! They sound really good though. I wonder if I can find those at my Farmer's Market. We shall see. Thanks for posting!

Bev said...

Pumpkin blossoms too...just lightly bread and fry. They don't need filling to be delicious but what a great idea!