July 10th… the garden is coming along nicely despite the cold spring. Is the old phrase for corn “knee high by July?” If that is the case, we are close…. The summer squash is blooming (yay for squash blossoms) In fact, we found our first baby zucchini growing. The sugar snap peas only need to plump up and then we have a fantastic snack right out of the garden. Speaking of snacks, Sophie & Keena picked the first couple raspberries… oh, they wanted more..it was difficult to convince them to wait, they will get better. Grapes are growing, blueberries are blooming…more goodness on its way.
We spent the morning pulling weeds out of the gardens…the kids are actually pretty good sports about that as they think the progress they see coming is so cool. Keena says, “Oh Mom, I LOVE Mother Nature.” Their favorite job is watering the garden… Sophie (the two year old) gets right in there to help….ends up needing an entire wardrobe change after. But who cares…Â the family garden is just that… a family job. Don’t get me wrong, this year it was a little more difficult getting the older kids to participate…. they’d rather lay in the hammock and watch. A story about The Little Red Hen changed their minds…Â now if they are not helping they are on bbsitting duty and have to follow Sophie around as she feeds basil to our garden guest “Gnomeo” (Thanks Karen S.)Â Gnomeo looks pretty cute in the garden and keeps Sophie busy as she finds new areas of the yard for him to hang out. The big kids know if they do not participate, there will be no goodness for them. (yeah right)
For any of you who garden and plant summer squash you understand you will have blossoms like crazy…Â take a moment to enjoy these! There are so many fun ways to prepare squash blossoms. Stuff them, fry them, put them in soup and more… This is a fun recipe to try, it seems complicated, however if you read through it before beginning you will realize it is not so tough….and it is sure to WOW your family and/or guests. Happy Summer!!!
makes 12 servings (2 per person)
For the corn stock:
1 ear of corn, kernals cut off and cobb reserved. (about 1/2 cup of kernals..save these…you want to use these in the recipe… the stock is for soup, we’ll post that recipe later)
1 sprig oregano or marjoram
put the corn cob, oregano & 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, lower theheat and simmer for about 1/2 an hour to make a nice corn stock. Strain into a bowl to reserve the stock for some corn chowder another day!!
For the Flowers & Veg filling
24 squash flowers
3 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
1/2 medium white onion
1/2 pound zucchini, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms
3Â garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 hulled pepitas, toasted (look in the natural food section in your grocery store)
freshly ground pepper
dash of allspice
salt to taste
Wash and clean the squash flowers carefully, remove the stamen inside and the sepals from the outside, keeping the flowers and stems intact. Soak in water for 5 minutes and then lay out to dry on a dishtowel.
Heat the oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and fry until clear, add squash and corn kernals and saute 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute about another 5 minutes (careful, do not burn the garlic!) Set aside
While sauting, place the pepitas on a baking dish, drizzle with a little oil and add salt & pepper and allspice. Toast in a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes (careful not to burn).
Add the seeds to the veggies, stir well.
For the cheese filling
1/2 pound Boursin Garlic Herb Cheese
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1 jalapeno (chopped fine)
Mix the cheese mixture and the veg mixture together. Carefully open each flower and put about 2 tbsp inside. (careful not to rip the flower)
To Finish & Serve
1/2 cup all purpose flower mixed with 1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup oil
pumkinseed oil for finishing
Enclose the cheese/veg mixture with the petals. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Dredge the stuffed flowers in the flour and shape each flower in the palm of your hands. Shake off excess flour. Place the flowers int he oil about 3 or 4 at a time, and fry on both sides, turningÂ once, until golden brown (about 4 minutes) Remove theÂ flowers and place on paper towels to drain.. Continue until all flowers are fried.
To serve, place 2 flowers on a plate and drizzle with pumpkin seed oil.
Optional, spoonÂ a mild tomato sauce or salsa on a plate and place the squash blossoms on top for more flavor.