Zucchini Blossoms are so beautiful. They are also tasty, and their time with us is fleeting, so I make sure I'm ready to cook with them. July and August are when blossoms are abundant in the garden and the farmers market. I love stuffing them, sautéing them and most of all, eating them.
This photo is one of my favorites, taken by my husband Mark, it reminds me of Summer - and also of people. Yes, squash blossom people. We had a gigantic print made of the photo which now hangs in my kitchen. It brightens the day - even in February.
Squash blossoms, aka zucchini blossoms, come from summer squash and winter squash. They are the edible flowers of the squash plant and come in yellow and orange shades with two kinds of blooms, male and female. The male flowers are there to fertilize, they have no pistils, grow on long stalks, and are slender. The females produce closer to the center of the plant. I have seen both male and female flowers sold at the markets, but at home, I pick the male blossoms to make sure I don't lose any squash.
The blossoms should be used quickly, within a day of being picked. Look for tightly closed buds. To prepare the flowers, gently open the petals and wipe away bugs with a damp cloth. Be careful; I have found bees in the blossoms. Remove any pistol or stamen by using your fingers to snap it off.
Wash and dry the blossom, and you're all set. Squash blossoms can be eaten raw in salads, sautéd, stuffed, fried, or make my omelet.