You could almost watch the epiphany spread across their elementary school-aged faces. Although for me it happened every year at this time, for them it was a totally new idea. With bonnets, and baskets, and plastic green grass, it came like a flash.
In no time at all, everyone in the class had changed my name to fit the roaring bunny commercials of the moment.
Luckily, when Easter was gone, so was the name.
Let’s just say that some seasonal things are more revered than others. What would be on my list? Squash blossoms. Yes, I’ve written about them a time or two – sautéed with garlic, stuffed in a cauliflower-quesadilla, and very best of all, filled with cashew cheese, battered, and fried.
Generally the squash blossoms don’t show up at my farmers market until August, but on Wednesday, we were in for a surprise. Amongst the cucumbers, collard greens, kale, and purslane, there were their muted green stems, bright orange tips, and pale yellow petals just waiting to be filled with cashew cheese.
I came home and started soaking cashews immediately following this recipe. I decided to do all cashews this year, instead of an almond/cashew mixture, since it’s easier for cashews to be totally creamy.
The next day I made the cheese, added a tablespoon of fresh basil, pulled out the piping bag that I only use once a year to fill them, dipped them in rice milk and cornstarch, rolled them in flour and herbs, and gave them a shallow fry. A light salad with cucumbers and black raspberries completed the plate to balance the indulgence of the blossoms.
Each warm bite was crisp on the outside, quickly breaking through to the soft, salty inside. So delicate and pretty, each one was savored. They’re definitely dinner party worthy, as long as you have the constitution to share. It may be harder than you think.
Get them while you can – when summer’s gone, they’re gone. And hey, I’ll gladly give you one of mine, as long as you promise not to call me Cadbury.