Squash Blossom Season!

Oh my goodness, it’s almost been a month since my last post. August leading into September was quite crazy for us – between a good deal of travel, evaluation of life goals, and my birthday, there was not much time to cook! But really, it was kind of nice to take a bit of a culinary break. I finally feel like I am ready for the season to change and am looking forward to fall flavors and spices.

I did make sure to cook some decent food each week including sautéed shishito peppers, a roasted eggplant salad, and a shrimp and bay scallop over fresh pasta dish. I was also able to pickle jalapeños – and the next venture in that category will be our own sauerkraut!

The rest of the month-end was filled with trips to Centreville, Maryland, the U.S. Open, and then trips all across Virginia, from Vienna to Charlottesville to North Garden. We head back to Washington D.C. this weekend, and maybe even again the following one, so it doesn’t look like we’ll have much time for rest in the near future.

While I was visiting my parent’s this past Sunday, my Momma took me to the Mosaic Central Farm Market in Fairfax. I scooped up some much desired Virginia tomatoes as well as a large box of squash blossoms. I’d never cooked with squash blossoms before but had heard great things and they are so beautiful I just had to give it a shot.

When I got back to Connecticut, the blossoms didn’t have too much longer of a life span. So, I decided to roast about half, stuffed with goat cheese and honey. The rest were pureed along with onion, an orange heirloom tomato, and jalapeño to make a delicious end of summer squash blossom soup. I’m pretty obsessed with the resulting flavors, so much so that I’m not even longing for early spring’s bounty of ramps.

Anywho, the squash blossom recipes are below, along with a photo story of recent cookery and travels.

 

 

Grocery List

For the Roasted Squash Blossoms with Goat Cheese and Honey

11-12 squash blossoms

2 generous tablespoons of goat cheese

Honey to taste

Piment d’Espelette, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

For the Spicy Squash Blossom Soup

11-12 squash blossoms

½ Spanish onion, chopped

1 orange heirloom tomato, diced

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

6 fingerling potatoes, diced

1 jalapeño, diced (leave the membrane and seeds in, if you like it hot)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

4 cups vegetable stock

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Goat cheese or a dollop of crème fraîche for garnish

 

 

How To

For the Roasted Squash Blossoms with Goat Cheese and Honey

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small, microwave safe bowl, combine the goat cheese and honey. Heat the bowl in the microwave for about 10 seconds, so the contents are a bit easier to work with. Stir again to combine.

Carefully open a squash blossom and scoop some of the goat cheese mixture inside. Then, twist the tops of the blossom closed. Place on a cookie sheet. Repeat for each squash blossom. Drizzle the blossoms with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with piment d’Espelette, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Once ready, let the blossoms sit for a minute, but make sure to enjoy them warm!

 

For the Spicy Squash Blossom Soup

Place a cocotte or your favorite soup making pot over medium heat. Throw in a tablespoon of butter. Once hot, add the onions to the pot. Let the onions simmer until translucent, adding in salt and pepper to taste. Next, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Finally throw in the potatoes, tomato and jalapeño. Cook for a few minutes more, adding a drizzle of olive oil if the mixture becomes to dry. Then, pour in the vegetable stock.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a 40 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the mixture using an immersion blender. Put the pot back on the heat and simmer for another half an hour or so. Taste as you go, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve the soup with a scoop of goat cheese or a dollop of crème fraîche.

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