This weekend, in the midst of our remodel project, I took time to make up a new dish. Why? Well, let me show you. We’ve got a small urban pumpkin (and other winter squash) farm taking over our front and back yard with plenty of blossoms to spare: of both the male blossom and pruning to grow big jack o’lantern varieties. (We’re growing several types of eating pumpkins, some jack o’lanterns for the neighborhood kids, as well as lots of heirloom varieties of winter squash.) And, with all those blossoms in season and ready for picking, it was either figure out what to do with them or let them go to waste.
The thing to do with squash blossoms, if you believe the most common Google results, seems to be to stuff them, bread them, and fry them. And, I tried that—using egg and milk, coconut flour, and homemade cheese. And they were good. But, not good enough. (Tell me, what don’t we Americans stuff with cheese, bread and fry?)
So, I thought about what else I could do with them. And, I came up with the idea of turning them into steamed dumplings, inspired by the ones I enjoy at my favorite Thai, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants. I decided that I was going to just use what I had on hand and they were delicious. Mia learned a new word, “Dumpling!” which she used again and again to request more bites!
I don’t have a recipe for these. I mostly don’t do recipes. But, I think they are pretty easy to recreate and you should feel free to be creative. This is what I did:
In a food processor, I combined two garden fresh carrots, three spring onions, three cloves of garlic, one zucchini, and a handful of okra (this was all from my garden, you could use other veggies), then I added two eggs, a generous chug of coconut amino and some real sea salt. I processed until the chunks were even and fairly smooth, then added about a dozen wild caught scallops and a cup of leftover hamburger (precooked and seasoned and just hanging out in my fridge). I pulsed it all in and stuffed the squash blossoms, leaving enough room to gently twist the upper petals to close into a dumpling and arranged them in a steamer basket.
I steamed them for about twenty minutes, but your steam time will depend on your particular mixture and dumpling size.
Serve with more coconut amino and fresh picked basil! Enjoy!
Next time I do these, I’m going to try adding ginger and basil to my stuffing mix. Also, the inner bits of the blossom (the stamen and the carpel, I think…) have a strong flavor. You might want to try a taste of it and see if you prefer to remove it (by gently pinching it off) before cooking!
Where do you get your squash blossoms? You might be able to get them at a specialty food store or a farmer’s market. Your best bet is in your own garden. Feel free to pick any of the male flowers you want. (Those are the ones without baby squash growing under them!) You can also pick the female flowers, especially if you are pruning blossoms to grow bigger squash!
I had a lot of extra stuffing for the number of blossoms I had picked. I used it to stuff some seeded zucchini halves (like boats) and baked them at 450 degrees. I also sautéed some of the stuffing with leftover pea pods and we ate it wrapped in lettuce from the garden. Lots of yum!
This post is part of the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival on KellytheKitchenKop.com! Check it out for lots of good real food reads!