HOME > Chowhound > Gardening >

Zucchini blossoms...

Teraesa22 Jun 19, 2011 05:31 PM

Garden has squash blossoms and I want to pick them to stuff and fry... Does taking off the flower affect the squash that will eventually blossom?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. t
    tacosandbeer RE: Teraesa22 Jun 19, 2011 09:50 PM

    There are male and female blossoms; I am pretty sure it's the female ones that develop in to the squash, so you only want to pick the male ones for cooking with, but darned if I can remember at this hour how to tell them apart!!
    I buy mine at the farmer's mkt sometimes with a baby zucchini already growing and attached to the end of the blossom. It makes a great handle for battering and frying! If no one else can help before I go again, I will try and ask the farmer there how to tell them apart.

    1. Cheese Boy RE: Teraesa22 Jun 19, 2011 11:00 PM

      Here's a picture that will help you distinguish between male and female squash blossoms. The male has a very thin stem beneath its flower. The female however, has a thick stem (which really isn't a stem at all but rather the beginnings of a zucchini) beneath its flower.

      Look --> http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=h...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cheese Boy
        Teraesa22 RE: Cheese Boy Jun 20, 2011 06:28 AM

        Thank you-I never knew that!

        1. re: Cheese Boy
          lilymex RE: Cheese Boy Jun 29, 2011 12:44 PM

          Thanks for the picture and easy explanation!

        2. l
          LadyGuise RE: Teraesa22 Jun 20, 2011 08:48 AM

          Good question! I have heard about frying them but have never had them. I will have to do some searches about about info/recipes because it sounds like fun and I think I have a bunch of male flowers that I could use. Thanks for the question Teraesa22 and thanks for the link Cheese Boy!

          1. chefathome RE: Teraesa22 Jun 20, 2011 10:27 AM

            Just fry them in a tempura batter. We usually stuff ours with either ricotta and lemon or goat cheese, chives, or whatever. Delicious!

            2 Replies
            1. re: chefathome
              twyst RE: chefathome Jun 21, 2011 07:53 PM

              A friend of mine piped shrimp mousse into them and fried them in tempura batter at a dinner party at his house. It was one of the best things Ive ever eaten, Ive been hooked on zuch blossoms ever since!

              1. re: twyst
                chefathome RE: twyst Jun 22, 2011 08:20 AM

                That sounds wonderful! I have heard of it but have yet to try it myself. The textures would be amazing together.

            2. Novelli RE: Teraesa22 Jun 20, 2011 10:29 AM

              You can use either flower type for eating.
              The female type is good because it has that little zucchini attached, but I honestly don't want to waste the zucchini all the time, so I usually go for the male flower.

              I like to mix up some soft goat cheese, a little ricotta, and some wild fennel pollen and stuff that into the flowers before frying.

              1. t
                thursday RE: Teraesa22 Jun 20, 2011 10:33 AM

                I usually go for the male flowers as well - you can theoretically remove just the flower from the budding zucchini and not affect the fruit, but I've never been able to - I always end up ripping the blossom to shreds or snapping the baby zucchini.

                Don't wash the flowers after you harvest, but use a damp paper towel to wipe the insides out - ants love to hide in there. If you want to wash them before you eat, rinse the plant with a hose about an hour before you pick the flowers. Rinsing after harvest makes them mushy and/or rips them.

                9 Replies
                1. re: thursday
                  LadyGuise RE: thursday Jun 20, 2011 10:51 AM

                  Good to know. I would have totally ruined them by washing them. Thanks all for the cooking ideas!

                  1. re: LadyGuise
                    Teraesa22 RE: LadyGuise Jun 20, 2011 06:25 PM

                    I honestly cannot tell the difference between the male and female! It must be too early bc both stems look the same.. I guess I should wait but am afraid the blossom will just die?

                    1. re: Teraesa22
                      Eldon Kreider RE: Teraesa22 Jun 21, 2011 07:36 PM

                      Cucurbits start producing male blossoms before the first female blossoms.

                      1. re: Eldon Kreider
                        Teraesa22 RE: Eldon Kreider Jun 22, 2011 07:03 PM

                        Eldon-So all the flowers that I see are male and ok to pick?

                        1. re: Teraesa22
                          Cheese Boy RE: Teraesa22 Jun 22, 2011 07:32 PM

                          This blogger tells it best w/ close-ups and everything.

                          Look ---> http://www.mamasemptynest.com/?p=1873

                          1. re: Cheese Boy
                            tdepaepe RE: Cheese Boy Jul 6, 2011 06:09 PM

                            Thanks for visiting my blog! My family looks forward to fried zucchini blossoms every year!

                            1. re: tdepaepe
                              Cheese Boy RE: tdepaepe Jul 6, 2011 06:30 PM

                              Excellent work.

                          2. re: Teraesa22
                            thursday RE: Teraesa22 Jun 23, 2011 12:39 PM

                            Most likely - but don't pick all of them if you want any zucchini- the male pollen is how the females grow the fruit. (which I'm sure you know from biology 101, but I got overly zealous about my first ever blossoms, plucked them all, then couldn't figure out how I'd "killed" such a healthy looking plant. *facepalm*)

                            1. re: thursday
                              kevin47 RE: thursday Jul 2, 2011 07:49 PM

                              Yes... I usually start plucking blossoms once I'm sick if the ludicrous amounts of zucchini the plants produce. Once you've hit "zucchini pancakes" in your cookbook, it's time for blossoms.

                              Also, am I the only one who simply uses a dash of quality oil and sea salt? I like the toothsome quality of the blossom on its own.

                  Show Hidden Posts