Every time I tell people that I eat fried pumpkin and squash blossoms I get A LOT of weird looks. Trust me, I thought the same thing when I first heard that these stunning bright yellow blossoms are actually edible! I threw together a simple six ingredient batter, added a few handfuls of blossoms, fried them, and was stunned to find that they tasted like… cheese sticks! Paired with some homemade marinara, I quickly devoured several (or maybe all but a few of them) and have been making them every summer since.
I shared this recipe through my Instagram stories when I first made it and have received a few requests for it to be an actual blog post, so here I am almost all the way through summer and finally getting this published! The beautiful thing is that if you’ve ever grown pumpkins, squash, or zucchini you know that these plants produce a ton of blossoms on a daily basis until the end of growing season. It’s cheap and easy to make and also a heck of a lot healthier than fried sticks of mozzarella. Read more for the recipe, tips on harvesting, and how to make a large batch.
Tip 1. The best time to harvest these blossoms would be early morning. The blossoms are open and you can shake off any bugs or bees. If you have a few blossoms that have started to close up you can still use these, but you’ll need to do a bug and bee check. This is also a great way to save a lot of our pollinator friends that can get trapped in the blossoms when they close.
To check for bees, just give the blossom a gentle squeeze. You’ll likely feel or hear a little buzz inside indicating you’ve got a friend stuck in there. You can lightly tear the edge of the blossom to create an opening for your little bee to escape from. There’s a possibility that other bug friends could have been trapped inside too so you can always peel back the petals a little more to make sure.
Tip 2. If you’re wanting to fry a big batch, but don’t have a ton of plants producing blossoms, you can pluck the blossoms and store them in a large ziplock bag in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. This way you can accumulate more over the course of a few days to do a larger batch.
And a quick note on safety: If you use any type of pesticides or chemicals on your plants I do NOT recommend making this. Unless you have thoroughly read the instructions on the type of chemical you are using (some you can harvest vegetables about a week after spraying) and you know for a fact that you can safely harvest from the plant.
Fried Pumpkin and Squash Blossoms
20 to 30 pumpkin or squash blossoms (stem removed)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Marinara sauce for serving
If the blossoms have any visible dirt, rinse under water, and set aside on a paper towel to dry. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet or pot over low to medium heat. In a large bowl, lightly whisk your egg and 1/2 cup water. Next you’ll stir in flour, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper until the batter is smooth. Add a small amount of water if the batter is too thick. It should be thick enough to coat a blossom, but thin enough to run through a fork slowly. Drop 6 to 8 blossoms into the batter and flip with a fork to coat all sides. Carefully add to the oil once it’s hot and cook for a few minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Transfer fried blossoms to a paper towel lined plate to cool for a moment. Repeat with remaining blossoms and then serve with a side of marinara.