I enjoy cooking up tasty dishes and sharing the recipes I love most.
A Light Snack Straight From My Garden
This year I planted around five different pumpkin patches in different parts of our property. I don't know what went wrong (maybe bad seeds or lack of nutrients) but no female flowers ever bloomed. It's crazy how many flowers I got, but all of them were male. You need both female and male flowers to get pumpkins—so sadly, with no female flowers, I didn't get a single pumpkin this year.
Fortunately, pumpkin blossoms are edible, which means I can use them for dinner. That's one reason I love growing pumpkins, squash, and zucchinis. The blossoms are not only beautiful, but they're also a tasty cooking ingredient.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 serving (this recipe is easy doubled or more!)
- 6 pumpkin blossoms (or squash or zucchini blossoms)
- 1 cup ricotta
- 2 eggs
- Garlic powder, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Olive oil
- Pick as many pumpkin blossoms as you'd like to cook. Squash or zucchini blossoms are the same in flavor and can be used instead. For this recipe I picked 6 flowers because I was cooking only for myself.
- Clean your flowers off. Check for dirt and bugs. Remove the pollen, leaves, and stems. Rinse them off if you need to but be careful. The flowers are delicate and can easily rip.
- In a bowl, mix the ricotta, 1 egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I added maybe around 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and a dash of salt and pepper.
- Stuff each flower with the ricotta mixture. I used a spoon. If you are worried about ripping flowers you could put your ricotta in a ziplock bag, cut off a corner, and use it as a pipping bag to pipe ricotta into the flowers.
- The petals are sticky so touch the tops of the petals together and twist them closed to prevent leakage.
- Crack 1 egg into a bowl and put your panko into another bowl. Dip each flower in the egg, then dip it in the panko.
- Fry them in olive oil (or the oil of your choosing) until each side is golden brown.
More Recipe Notes
- Recipe inspiration: I originally figured out how to cook pumpkin blossoms by looking up a variety of squash, pumpkin, and zucchini recipes to figure out what I liked best. Once I did my research, I made up my own recipe based on the ingredients I preferred and hand on hand.
- Cleaning the blossoms: The first step I took was to clean out the flowers. Some had bugs inside of them or dirt. Then, I removed the pollen and any greenery growing around the base of the flower. I washed off the insides but had to be very careful. The flowers are delicate and easy to rip. I was careful while washing and did a simple rinse to get off the pollen, dirt, and tiny bugs.
- Stuffing the blossoms: Once the flowers were clean I stuffed them with cheese. I took ricotta cheese and mixed it with one egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I stuffed a tiny bit into each flower. The petals are quite sticky so once they were stuffed I twisted the petals to close it up to prevent leakage.
- Frying the blossoms: Each flower was dipped in egg then panko and fried in oil. It didn't take long for them to get nice and brown.
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Variations and Serving Suggestions
- Cheese: If you like Parmesan cheese or mozzarella you could mix that into the ricotta. You could also mix Parmesan into the panko coating.
- Dipping sauce: Pumpkin blossoms are good with a nice dipping sauce like marinara or pizza sauce. I use Don Pepinos pizza sauce for dipping my pumpkin blossoms and it's a great combination.
- Appetizer or side dish: I really like serving these blossoms as an appetizer to a meal. They go great with spaghetti or a different pasta.
I felt like I turned a failure into a success by making all those male flowers useful in a delicious meal. It's a shame I didn't grow any pumpkins but at least my garden produced food in another form for my family.
© 2020 Casey White