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Zucchini blossoms...

t
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. t
    thursday 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
      l
      LadyGuise 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
        t
        Teraesa22 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
          e
          Eldon Kreider Jun 21, 2011 07:36 PM

          Cucurbits start producing male blossoms before the first female blossoms.

          1. re: Eldon Kreider
            t
            Teraesa22 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 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
                t
                tdepaepe 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 Jul 6, 2011 06:30 PM

                  Excellent work.

              2. re: Teraesa22
                t
                thursday 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
                  k
                  kevin47 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.

      2. n
        Novelli 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. c
          chefathome 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 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
              c
              chefathome 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. l
            LadyGuise 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. Cheese Boy 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
                t
                Teraesa22 Jun 20, 2011 06:28 AM

                Thank you-I never knew that!

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

                  Thanks for the picture and easy explanation!

                2. t
                  tacosandbeer 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.

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