Spring: Flowers in the pan!
Finally spring has arrived, bringing with it its many colorful and perfumed flowers.
Recently flowers are not just used to decorate but also to eat!
For sure you have certainly eaten squash blossoms. In Italian cuisine they are eaten in soups, dipped in milk and then in flour to be fried or stewed.
Less common is to have eaten other flowers. But this is the trend: to pan the flowers (technically called edible) of geranium, the nasturtiums, elder, acacia, daisies and pansies, just to mention the most common ones.
How do we cook them?
The trick, say the cooks, is to shake off the pollen.
They must be very fresh, just picked up because they quickly wither. When collecting, please pay attention to cut the stem with scissors and to store them in cold water.
How do we use them?
In many, many dishes. Some examples:
The calendula flowers have a lot of carotene and so they incredibly well color and flavor rice dishes, whereas red meat goes very well with pomegranate flowers.
A tempting and tasty side dish is to make a salad that also has got pea, bean, lilac, violets … flowers.
So here’s a recipe for your enjoyment:
Fusilli with squash flowers and pecorino cheese (for 2 people)
• 200 g fusilli
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 shallot
• 6 squash blossoms, well washed and without the pistil
• semi-aged grated pecorino cheese,
Let the very thin sliced shallots dry in the oil then add the flowers that you had cut lengthwise. Cook everything for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta, when ready put everything together and season adding pecorino cheese.
So good spring to all and Buon Appettito!