For most of my life I have heard it said that elder flowers are delicious when dipped in batter and fried. Every year in late spring I determine that this will be the year to finally give them a try.
For the last week or so elderberry bushes have been blooming all over the countryside, so I stopped along a remote stretch of road to clip a few of the flower umbels. Back at home I put them in a glass of water to keep fresh for use the next day, but they did not keep fresh at all, and were a droopy mess by morning. Evidently they must be used immediately after picking.
I abandoned the elder flower idea for the time being, but since I had battering and frying on my mind I put the squash blossoms in the garden to use.
I avoid fried foods, and rarely fry anything, so this is probably the most unhealthy dish I have prepared in quite some time. Squash blossoms are typically stuffed with ricotta or other types of cheese before frying, but I thought both cheese and frying would be
a bit a lot much. I decided on a mushroom and vegetable stuffing instead.
It began by sautéing chopped onions, celery, yellow pepper and jalapeño with a sprinkling of kosher salt.
When the onions and peppers had softened a bit I added chopped mushrooms.
To help the sautéed veggies hold together I sifted all purpose flour over the top and stirred it in with a couple splashes of water.
After snipping the pistils out of the female flowers and the stamens out of the male flowers I gently brushed out any bugs from the extremely fragile squash blossoms before stuffing them with a little of the mushroom and vegetable mixture. I closed the petals around the stuffing, twisted the ends, dipped the the stuffed flowers in batter and fried them hot coconut oil.
For the batter I used a store bought whole wheat pancake mix to which I added a fresh egg, reconstituted powdered egg and enough water to make a thin crêpe batter.
Parsley plants from last year are flowering now. Parsley flowers, like elderberry blossoms, also grow in umbels. I dipped a few of them in batter and fried them. Delicious! Chive blossoms were good too. The oil wasn’t deep enough for the onion blossoms to turn out well.
These truly were delicious, but I don’t foresee anymore frying anytime soon.