Rugosa friulana

In honour of the release of The BFG in the UK today, I’m going to start Tendrils with a trip into the archives to learn how to grow your own Snozzcumbers before moving on to today’s crowd-sourced special topic: how to eat courgette flowers (or zucchini flowers if you’re joining us from across The Pond). Before jumping in to recipes and serving suggestions, you may want to brush up on how to grow courgettes (zucchini) and how to tell the difference between male and female squash flowers, since these are things you’re unlikely to find in the supermarket unless you live somewhere really… what’s the word?… gentrified 😉

Did you know you can buy seeds of a courgette and of a pumpkin variety bred for their edible flowers? The Seeds of Italy website recommends throwing them into a omelette. (Seeds of Italy also sell a jam pumpkin, which is something I really must explore one day.)

Right, now that we’re all prepped, we can get going on the actual eating of the flowers.

So… stuffed courgette flowers is a classic, but The Kitchn have five ways to eat squash blossoms, including fried, baked with honey and ricotta, and as a zucchini blossom sauce for pasta. That last one sounds very intriguing.

Eating courgette flowers is a topic the Guardian newspaper keeps coming back to. In 2009 they appeared stuffed in a collection of Riverford summer recipes; in 2012 Yotam Ottolenghi tackled Fried courgette flowers with lavender honey; in 2013 they’re stuffed again as readers share their favourite floral recipes, and this year Rachel Roddy has them as the centrepiece of her Italian fritti recipe. Battered, not stuffed.

Twin courgette flowers

Mark Diacono stuffs his with risotto as he explores Edible flowers: a world of flavour in The Telegraph, whilst the paper offers up a courgette flower risotto in a medley of floral recipes inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show. Lia Leendertz combined hers with broad bean, pea and mint puree and basil pesto for Simple Things magazine.

Ambling slightly off topic for a moment, although I’m sure there are endless ways to combine the two, you can save on saffron – another delicious edible flower – at Dobies this weekend 🙂 Plant now and you could be harvesting your own spice this autumn:

cheap saffron corms

After that brief palate cleanser, we have two more courgette flower recipes, both submitted by readers 🙂 The Stripey Cat offers up a way to nip a courgette glut in the bud, as it were, and the redoubtable Amy Barker shared her favourite recipe for zucchini flower bhujias.

And that’s your lot! Are you hungry yet? If you’re using your courgette flowers in tasty and intriguing ways, or you’ve got a link to share then feel free to leave a comment and share with the class!

Enjoy your floral feeding frenzy and I’ll be back with a fresh harvest of Tendrils next week.

Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs bargain