Harvesting squash blossoms and making Squash Blossom Beignets is a summer ritual. But if you are a city dweller or just don’t have your own garden, head to your local farmer’s market.
Every summer morning in Provence, the squash plants are checked for girl vs. boy flowers. The girls have fruit so we leave those behind to grow into zucchinis, but the boys bear no fruit so they are destined for beignets. In the photo below, he would be the top flower. Can you see the squash beginning on the base of the lower flower? That’s our girl! Let her be.
So head back to the kitchen and trim the stem and pull off and discard the ‘little green things’ around the base of the flower. Or leave the stem to have a handle to hold when dipping.
If you have collected enough to cook, proceed with the recipe. Otherwise, store, refrigerated, in a covered plastic box for a day or two until you have enough for a batch.
SQUASH BLOSSOM BEIGNETS
- 1 1/2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
- 1 TEASPOON SALT
- FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
- 1 3/4 - 2 CUPS WATER or BEER
- 1 TABLESPOON OLIVE OIL
- 1 EGG SEPARATED
- 18 LARGE or 36 SMALL SQUASH BLOSSOMS
- VEGETABLE OIL
- Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk in water (OR beer), olive oil, and egg yolk. Whip egg white to stiff peaks and fold into batter. Add any optional seasonings, if desired.
- Heat 1” vegetable oil in skillet over medium high heat. Dip flowers in batter, coating them well. Fry 2–3 minutes, until golden. Turn once or twice. Drain on paper toweling. Sprinkle with salt and serve. Beignets freeze very well. Once cooled, wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze in ziploc bags. Reheat until crisp in 350 oven or toaster oven.