The Summer's Last (Edible) Flowers
Sadly, we may only have one more week of squash blossoms. These palm-length orange flowers have a subtly perfumed taste that adds a unique dimension to any dish. If you find some, buy as many as you think you can eat in a week!
They are good simply sautéed quickly in butter (remove the stamen inside the flower first) and make a lovely side dish or garnish for a grass-fed steak. That said, after I was inspired by Greenmarket recipe writer Maria Alvarez, I spent much the summer thinking about different ways to stuff them (winner: stuffed with feta, egg battered, fried.)
For a delightfully delicate change-of-seasons dish, also gather some of summer's last tomatoes and peppers and try the below main dish.
20 large fresh squash blossoms
2 Tbs olive oil
½ medium or 1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 fresh green chile such as serranos or jalepenos
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and de-ribbed, cut into half inch cubes
1 medium tomato, boiled, peeled, cored and chopped
¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
½ cup white wine
1 pound catfish filets, sliced into 2” by 3” squares.
Cut the tough bottom off the flower; pull out and discard the stamen. Rinse the flowers thoroughly and slice crosswise into ½ inch tubes.
Sauté onions in olive oil. After 3 minutes, add garlic and both types of peppers. Sauté until peppers soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add white wine, stir. Adjust heat to medium low heat. Place fish pieces around pan. After 2-3 minutes, flip fish. Add blossoms, tomatoes and cilantro. Cover and allow to cook 8-10 minutes, until blossoms are well wilted and fish is cooked through. Season with salt and serve with extra broth from pan dressing the plate.
Rice and fresh corn make good compliments.
picture by Harris Shiffman via Dreamstime