STUFFED PUMPKIN BLOSSOMS
Did you think I’ve reached the epitome of galley ridiculousness? Well you may be right, but oh my sweet garden these were SO good!
How did these pumpkin blossoms come to be present in my land kitchen you may ask? Boat related. Our dear sailboat R.E.D. is no longer ours as she now resides in the great white north…Yukon, to be specific. We’ve been having conversations on and off with RED’s new family over the past fews days (they’re really eager to get out on the water) and one call had us sharing common passions…sailing for sure and it seems even though they are a generation or two our junior, we share a number of interests. They love gardening too. When I mentioned F’s overgrown pumpkin patch, the Mom told us about how delicious pumpkin blossoms are…breaded and fried. Her kids piped in with ravings about how they LOVE pumpkin blossoms. So the very next morning, I foraged in Papa’s Pumpkin Patch and served up a very tasty morning breakfast of….ta-da…breaded pumpkin blossoms.
I won’t bother with a written recipe for fried blossoms. Simply, rinse and dry them. Remove the stamen, split down the middle and flatten. Whisk some flour and sparkling water or beer in a bowl to make a fluid mixture, the consistency of waffle batter (not too liquidy, but still fluid). Dip blossoms in mixture then fry with a little oil or clarified butter, flipping when browned on one side and when second side is brown serve and enjoy.
This led me to more searching for what parts of the pumpkin are edible. It would seem this iconic fall fruit is more than just a carved out piece of Hallowe’en art or a Thanksgiving dessert.
The leaves are also delicious. I sautéd some in a smear of olive oil and chopped garlic. Delicious! Pumpkin leaves are somewhat time consuming though to prepare because of their prickly parts and like spinach or other greens, you do new several because they cook down quite a bit. But hey, who am I to turn my nose up at free fresh food.
I used the leaves for the stuffing too and added a couple of cups of chard as well, getting somewhat weary of de-prickling the pumpkin leaves. Spinach and kale would work very well too though.
Once I had the filling made the rest was super easy. Each blossom was the perfect receptacle. A couple of tablespoons of the mixture (depending on blossom size), a twist of the tops and they were ready for breading. Egg dip, a roll in the panko and they were set for baking….fifteen minutes, oven to table.
I categorized this as Omnia stove top oven worthy too but to be honest I haven’t been able to collect enough blossoms for a repeat performance to cook this way but I have every confidence that it would work very well too. Five minutes on high on the pre-heated base plate then 10-12 minutes medium low to finish.
Update: since first writing up this post I found several more blossoms in our garden and tried this again but using my stove top oven. Predictably perfect! So all of you Omnia users, go forth and cook your blossoms with confidence. I didn’t have chard and didn’t want to de-prickle the pumpkin leaves so used chopped kale. I actually prefer the former. Although kale was very tasty I still can’t get past the rather tough texture.
I kind of doubt if pumpkin parts are a readily available item in most supermarkets but if you grow them or have a neighbour who does, give this a try. Not terribly complicated but they are so deliciously exotic and gourmet-ish when you sit down to dine.
Stuffed Pumpkin Blossoms
- Baking pan (for conventional oven users)
- Mixing bowl
- Fry pan
- Two small bowls for breading (panko and egg)
- Omnia stove top oven (for the ovenless) plus Omnia rack with parchment ring would be helpful
- 8 pumpkin blossoms
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 6 cups pumpkin leaves chopped
- 3 tbsp basil leaves chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt ricotta can be substituted
- 1/4 cup softened goat cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 eggs 1 for the stuffing, 1 for breading
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- Rise blossoms, remove stamens and carefully dry.
- Heat oil in fry pan and saute garlic gently being careful not to scorch.
- Add chopped greens and continue to saute for about 4-5 minutes until wilted and no longer wet.
- Add chopped basil and cook for an additional two minutes. Season to taste. Remove pan from heat and allow greens to cool.
- In mixing bowl combine yogurt (or ricotta),cheeses and one egg.
- When greens are cooled combine with cheese mixture
- Scoop a couple of tablespoons of cheese mixture into each blossom (about 2/3 filled) then take the ends and twist them closed
- Whisk second egg in one bowl and place panko in another.
- Dip each filled blossom first in the egg then in the panko. At this point you can set them aside in the refrigerator for a couple of hours until ready to bake.
- On a parchement lined baking sheet, place each filled and breaded blossom and bake in a pre-heated 400 ° oven for 15 minutes
For Omnia stove top users
- Place filled bloosoms in prepared baking dish, cover and set on pre-heated base plate on high for five minutes then reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook for about 15-20 or until crumb topping begins to brown
- Serve with a crisp garden salad or as a side dish.