Squash blossoms—the bright, dainty flowers that stem from winter or summer squash—have been making dramatic appearances on more and more restaurant menus, recipe pages and alongside other farmer’s market produce. These edible flowers, which taste like milder versions of the squash or zucchini they come from, can be eaten raw but are more often found battered, fried up with goat cheese or tucked into soups and omelets.
Look for squash blossoms at your local farmer’s market—most grocery stores don’t stock squash blossoms because of their short shelf life. ”Be warned,” writes Kate Heyhoe of Kate’s Global Kitchen. “Squash blossoms live about as long as mayflies—at worst a few hours, at best a few days, and only in ideal conditions. Cook them the day you pick them, or the day you pick them up.”
Vegetarian Times cautions that you should avoid getting blooms too wet—water can cause wilting and spotting when ti comes in direct contact with the petals. Use a spray bottle to spritz picked blossoms clean instead of washing in the sink.
If you’ve been curious but too shy to try these edible flowers yet—or at least to try cooking them on your own—maybe the following recipes will provide a little inspiration.