Squash Blossoms, an Italian Delicacy

Squash blossoms, an old-school Italian delicacy when breaded and fried, are the extraordinarily delicate male flowers of our summer squash crop. Each squash plant produces male and female flowers - the female flowers go on to produce squash, so we leave those on the plant, but the male flowers are just for efficient pollination. Though our plants wouldn't produce as prolifically if we picked all the male blossoms, they certainly won't miss them if we pick a few once or twice a week. 

There are some recipes floating around for stuffed squash blossoms, though they're so delicate that I've never convinced myself to try stuffing them. Instead, I prepare them as my father taught me - simply breaded and fried, with a little salt and pepper, and eaten straight out of the pan. Nothing says summer like a fried squash blossom.

6 - 8 squash blossoms
1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 eggs
Vegetable oil

Heat a small skillet with enough vegetable oil to be about ½ inch deep in the pan. Put the flour in one small bowl. Beat the eggs into a second small bowl. Test the temperature of the oil by sprinkling flour into the pan - if it sizzles, the oil is ready. Carefully coat each blossom in flour, then dip it in the egg, then place in the pan. Do this for each blossom, letting them fry on each side for 2 - 3 minutes, or until crisy and brown. Let drain on paper towel for a few minutes to drain excess oil, but serve immediately after, while still hot.