Toward the end of every harvest season, I can’t help but recoil a bit — summer has stretched as long as the Earth’s tilt allows, and I wrestle with having to depend on produce shipped in from more temperate climes. My favorite produce stand has been warning me of their end-of-October closure for the past few weeks. And at Cabalo’s Orchard, the pumpkin patch wraps up this weekend.
But there are still so many gems left on the vines this time of year — firm green tomatoes perfect for pickling, tiny summer squash that never matured, and papery winter squash blossoms trying to stave off the frost. The folks at Cabalo’s were so kind as to let me pluck some of their lingering pumpkin blossoms.
I turned them into these delightful little snacks that the S.O. and I couldn’t resist before dinner. The blossoms are floral and green, contrasting the rich chèvre filling. I used a light and crisp tempura-style batter that doesn’t create a thick, dense coating that hides the blossoms. Pumpkin and winter squash blossoms are hardier than those of summer squashes, so you’ll want to remove the tough and prickly stems and calyx before cooking.
Chèvre-Herb Stuffed Pumpkin Blossoms
Serves 2-3 as an appetizer
- 12 pumpkin blossoms
- 4 oz. chèvre (goat cheese), at room temperature
- few sprigs of oregano and thyme, finely chopped
- juice of 1/4 lemon
- 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 T baking powder
- 1 tsp table salt
- flake salt
- Remove the stems and calyx. Rinse the blossoms.
- Combine chèvre, chopped herbs, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Gently fill each pumpkin blossom with this mixture [the flat handle end of a fork or spoon works well]. Set aside.
- In another bowl, make the batter by combining flour, baking powder, and table salt. Mix until well incorporated, then add water — you want this batter to be runny [slightly runnier than the consistency of shampoo], so it will form only a thin coating on each blossom.
- Pour 1/4″ oil into a heavy bottomed pot, and place over medium heat. When oil is hot, coat each stuffed blossom with batter, then gently drop them into the oil. Fry each blossom for 20 seconds, turn over, and fry another 20 seconds. Remove blossom from pot and drain on paper towel.
- Sprinkle blossoms with flake salt and extra oregano and thyme leaves to serve.