As heirloom tomato season wanes, the good new is that hyper-seasonal squash blossoms are ubiquitous now. They’ve been in their prime for several weeks and will continue to be present on menus awhile longer, as squash plants continue to produce blossoms that, due to the oncoming colder weather, won’t have a lot of time to set fruit. Typically, only male flowers are harvested, but you can use the female flowers if you’re willing — or mother nature is about to — sacrifice fruit. Although squash blossoms are commonplace in dishes these days, the very first time I had them was many years ago when a friend’s Italian grandmother fried some up. Like most avid eaters, I’ve always been willing to try anything that’s fried; to my delight, the delicate, buttery blossoms were a veggie revelation. Ever since then, I cannot pass up any opportunity to eat them. Although frying remains a popular presentation, there are many other ways to enjoy them. In fact, just last night, I had some sublime agnolotti with squash blossom pesto at Picholine. Find out what your fellow diners are saying about this floral treat in recent reviews on OpenTable.
* Alder, New York, New York: “The food was delightful. I never knew what a dish was going to look like until it came out. Everything was unexpected. And, squash blossoms stuffed with shrimp and squash? Just go!”
* Bar Americain, New York, New York: “The stuffed squash blossoms were a highlight for me; they were delicate, perfectly stuffed, and the black-pepper vinaigrette was a wonderful complement.”
* The Chestnut Grille, Blowing Rock, North Carolina: “We began with the lump crab-stuffed squash blossoms, which were dynamite.”
* Cindy Pawlcyn’s Wood Grill & Wine Bar, St. Helena, California: “The service was great, and we had the squash blossom quesadilla and the heirloom tomato and melon salad. Both were tasty.”
* Circa, Manhattan Beach, California: “Standout offerings: The tinned sardines from Spain with grilled rustic bread slices and fennel salad, battered squash blossoms filled with zucchini mousse, and the Mediterranean flatbread. Plates were meant to share, but I kept these all to myself.”
* COCO500, San Francisco, California: “Food nothing less than spectacular! Started with uni/squid bruschetta, bursting with flavor. Next, a squash blossom flatbread, tasty and crunchy, not heavy.”