Pan-fried squash blossoms (V, GF option)

Pan-fried squash blossoms with cashew cream filling from The Spoon + Shovel

Our pumpkin & squash patch has failed beautifully this summer, thanks in part to the wet beginning of the summer and then the heat and dryness we’ve experienced lately. There have been tons of male blossoms on all of the plants, but no female flowers to speak of, so I’ve been making fried squash blossoms semi-regularly for myself and Meghan. The male blooms of the squash plant are differentiated from female (fruit-bearing) blooms by their long, thin stems and general abundance through the growing season. They’re also delicious - just be sure to leave enough for your plants to fertilize themselves with if you have a mind to harvest them like I did.

Ingredients:
Cashew cream filling:
1 C. raw, unsalted cashew pieces
1 heaping T. white miso paste
3 T. nutritional yeast
4-5 fresh basil leaves
½ of a white onion (~¼ C.), chopped
1 T. olive oil

Blossoms & batter:
12 squash blossoms
½ C. nut milk (I use soy)
1 t. apple cider vinegar
½ C. flour (GF option here)
⅛ t. dried oregano
⅛ t. dried sage
¼ t. salt
Freshly-ground pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Prep time: 15-20 min
Cook time: 5-15 min, depending on pan size
Yield: 12 squash blossoms, 2-3 servings depending on size

Pan-fried squash blossoms with cashew cream filling from The Spoon + Shovel

-Place the 1 C. cashews in a microwave-safe bowl, fill with enough water to cover, and microwave for 5 min. 
-Sauté the chopped onion in olive oil until translucent; I like to leave them in the pan with the heat off afterwards to brown slightly. 
-Strain the water off of the cashews and pour them into a food processor. 
-Pulse to a rough consistency and add the miso, nutritional yeast, basil leaves and onions, then process until smooth. 
-If you have a pastry piping bag, spoon the cashew mixture into it; I just scoop it into a plastic sandwich bag and cut the tip off of the bottom edge.
-Get out 2 small bowls, filling one with the ½ C. milk and vinegar, and the other with the flour, oregano, sage, salt and pepper. 
-Mix the flour lightly with a fork or your fingers, and heat ~ ½” of vegetable oil in a high-lipped pan or skillet. You will want to have less than half of your blossoms submerged in oil.
-If you haven’t already, wash your squash blossoms and pat dry. 
-Cut a small incision up the side with a paring knife to remove the pistil (the part with the pollen all over it) and make space for the filling. 
-Fill each evenly, roll in the buttermilk, then the flour and place gently into the hot oil. 
-Pan-fry on each side for 3-5 min or until just lightly golden, and place on paper towels to cool while the rest are fried. 
-Serve immediately with a side of homemade pizza sauce.

Summer's not over yet!