A Seasonal Delight: Fried Squash Blossoms
In our on demand society, there are very few foodstuffs that one can’t buy out of season. I remember a time, not too long ago, when I still relied upon Californian-authored cookbooks to determine what was in season, I tried to buy cherries in late April thinking that they truly were a spring fruit even in our Midwestern clime. Calling around to all of the grocery stores, I finally was told by a produce manager, in a rather no-duh kind of manner, that they weren’t in season. No longer would that be the case – sadly, cherries are available all year round.
Asparagus, raspberries, tomatoes, peas, are available for purchase at all times even though they are often sad imitations of the real deal. Given this, every summer I love to celebrate one of the truly great treats almost completely unknown out of season: squash blossoms. (The only other truly seasonal food that I can think of are fiddlehead ferns, which are more object of curiosity than desire for me). Delicate and unforgettable in flavor, squash blossoms are one of the best harbingers of summer. Dipped in a light batter of corn flour, lightened with white wine and seltzer, I love to eat them straight out of the fryer.
We finally got our son to give them a go this year after a false start. The first time I made them, he was slow to try it – letting the petals wilt and absorb the oil. He turned his nose up at them, “too greasy.” Damn his finely-tuned palate. The next time, I made the quickest beeline from the hot oil to his little mouth. This time, he gobbled it up and asked for another.
What’s your favorite food that you can’t get out of season? And how do you prepare it?
½ cup corn flour
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¾ cup seltzer water
1 tablespoon white wine
1 large bunch squash blossoms
Mix flours, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Add seltzer and white wine and stir until combined. Heat oil in a large skillet until it reaches 325° F. Dredge squash with blossoms and fry, turning once, until golden, approximately 3 minutes. Drain in a bowl filled with crumpled paper towels. Serve hot with a favorite sauce.