I know I’ve mentioned the farmer’s market many times but I’m going to say once again how much I love going and this past weekend was no exception. The atmosphere is always so happy, warm and positive, filled with people who love fresh food and knowing where it came from. The farmer’s and growers are all there just waiting to tell you about their adventures in raising this year’s crop or how one of the goat’s got out and ate all the flowers around his house.
The dirt is still clinging to sun-ripen fruits and the basil leaves feature just a few little holes where bugs munched their share of this summer’s crops. I’m fully accepting of those few holes and the slight blemishes on the fruit because it screams organically raised and I’m not eating chemicals I would rather not have.
The smells of ripen peaches fill the area and as I approach one stall, I get to try fresh goat milk only one day old and samples of tangy goat cheese. Stalls filled with cut flowers, plants, fresh eggs and pork, all catch my eye down the rows, my attention constantly getting drawn further down by the exciting delights as I hop from one to the other. And then finally, one of my favorite sites where the Ollin Farms family greets me with such happiness as they do everyone who stops by and jewel-toned veggies await my perusal.
Bright yellow-orange squash blossoms catch my hubby’s eye and some must come home. I follow immediately with Shishito peppers for grilling, yellow patty pan squash and aromatic purple basil for pesto. Other market finds of the day include a bouquet of beautiful flowers filled with blossoms and herbs, huge heads of cabbage, a wonderful mix of fresh mushrooms, two kinds of kale and a spiny heirloom Italian zucchini.
It’s our first time cooking squash blossoms at home, so it’s off to the internet I go. While I have a pretty good idea of how to make them, it never hurts to make sure you know what you’re doing before getting started. I come across a recipe for Roasted Corn and Black Bean Stuffed Squash Blossoms from Port and Fin. It looked so awesome, I decide to give it a try, with a few adjustments of course.
The results impressed both hubby and I (this one was a team effort since hubby found the blossoms, choose the ale and offered opinions on the taste of the filling as I worked on it). The squash blossoms are crispy in their ale cornmeal batter and the filling is so rich and creamy with charred corn, black beans and slightly sour goat cheese, topped with a hot and spicy roasted jalapeño chimichurri that just brings the perfect harmony to the taste buds. Don’t let this one scare you off by thinking it’s hard to make, because I promise while you’re impressing all your friends and family with this one, you’ll be quietly chuckling to yourself at how easy it was to make.
(Ollin Farms does not give compensation for this post or recipe, they are just one of my favorite farmers to buy farm fresh produce from)
Roasted Corn, Black Bean and Goat Cheese Stuffed Squash Blossoms with a Roasted Jalapeno Chimichurri
Roasted Jalapeno Chimichurri
2.5 to 4 roasted jalapenos, seeds and stems removed (amount depends on desired heat level and hotness of peppers)
1/3 cup cilantro, packed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, packed
1/3 cup fresh basil, packed
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
2 cloves garlic
3 to 4 Tbsp. olive oil, add to desired consistency
salt and pepper to taste
Add all the ingredients to a food processor except olive and salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Add half of olive oil and desired salt and pepper, mix well. Continue adding rest of olive oil until you reach desired consistency. Place in the fridge to meld until needed.
10-12 squash blossoms
3/4 cup fresh corn, charred on the grill
1/2 cup cooked black beans, drained
3/4 cup soft goat cheese
1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 bottle little ale or lager, your choice of flavors but I like the light summer flavored ones
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 cups of veggie oil
Prepare the squash blossoms by removing the stamen from the center of bloom and wash the blooms gently in cool water. Lay in a colander facing down to allow the flowers to drain and dry before using.
Place the veggie oil into a pot for deep-frying and bring at 350° F over medium high heat. If not using a thermometer, you can tell when the oil is ready by dropping a couple of drops of water in and watching that it evaporates immediately. If it continues to pop a few seconds, your oil is not hot enough. Make the filling and batter while the oil is heating.
Add the corn, black beans, cheeses, garlic and red onion to a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the finished mixture into a piping bag (I use a Ziploc with the tip cut off). Pipe the filling into the squash blossoms, filling the cup to where the blossoms start to split into petals. Gently twist the petals together to close the filling inside the blossom. Lay on a cookie sheet or plate until needed.
Make the batter by combining the ale, flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper and mixing well.
When the oil is hot enough, roll the prepared blossoms in the batter making sure to cover completely and seal in the mix. Drop into the hot oil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly golden brown, turning once.
Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel for a few seconds to remove excess oil. Do not leave laying on the paper towel for too long or the blossoms will become soggy.
Serve immediately with the chimichurri.
Ideas for harvesting your own squash blossoms and more squash blossoms recipes: