Not very attractive, huh? They don’t look much like flowers do they? All twisted and crooked, hardly what you’d want to take time to cook, never-mind put in your mouth! But wait, there’s more! There’s more than meets the eye here. These are squash blossoms, lovingly picked early in the morning by a grower who understands their charm and value. And there are legions of fans of squash blossoms out there, scouting the markets and stalls to find them. You will most often see them stuffed and fried, and they are so good prepared like that. But I wanted something different when I got these. I have been thinking about making a sauce with them, and when I checked the Internet, low and behold, a dozen or more recipes popped up. So I studied them, consulted the pantry, and came as close to the sauces I read about as I wanted to. I’ll link the ones I consulted below, so you can check them out for yourself.
This is not a show stopping sauce, either in looks or in flavor. It has a light, delicate taste, somewhat reminiscent of zucchini, but it’s very much it’s own girl. This is a grown-up dish, that cries out for a cool glass of chardonnay to play off of. Don’t be put off by appearances, sit down and get to know it. I think you just might like it.
Squash Blossom Sauce with Angel Hair Pasta
1/2 lb. of squash blossoms
1 large clove of garlic
1 shallot, finely minced
1 rib of celery, finely minced
1 cup of chicken stock
1 pinch of saffron threads
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoons of butter, divided in thirds
Remove the stems and sticky bud pieces around the flower, cut in quarters. Mince the shallot and celery and garlic. Melt the oil and 1 teaspoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the shallot and celery, and when they are soft add the garlic and cook for another minute (don’t let the garlic brown or burn, remove the pan from the heat at first sight and add some stock to stop the browning) then add the chicken stock, saffron, and all the squash blossoms. Turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer until the stock has reduced by about half and the blossoms have softened and melted a bit.
I know it doesn’t look like much, but hang in there!
Cook the pasta and right before draining it, scoop out a good half a cup of the cooking water. (You remembered to salt the water well before cooking the pasta, right?) Drain and immediately dump the pasta into the skillet with the sauce. Add the remaining butter, and about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and toss together, if it looks a like it needs a bit more sauce add the pasta water until you get the consistency you like. Grab a fork, your glass of wine, and enjoy. Oh, I know the urge to add some grated cheese will be strong, but resist. This sauce is so delicate the cheese will totally overpower it. Squash blossoms are a fleeting summer treat, try this while you can!
Adapted and inspired by:
www.denverpost.com/grow/ci_12513462 – 127k – Cached