Posts Tagged ‘Squash Blossoms’

Garden Update ~ Polycultures and Blooms Galore

Some photos from today and the past couple days:

Ferns and Jack in the pulpit are probably six inches higher than when I snapped this photo two days ago.

Ferns and Jack in the pulpit are probably six inches higher than when I snapped this photo two days ago.

The other side of the driveway, with irises, blueberry bushes, cardoon, liatris, echinacea, my prized medlar tree and the back/side yard gardens in the distance, including Garden Tower.

The other side of the driveway, with irises, blueberry bushes, cardoon, liatris, echinacea, my prized medlar tree and the back/side yard gardens in the distance, including Garden Tower.

The mixed edible cover crops are growing fast.

The mixed edible cover crops are growing fast.

I knew the fava beans would look pretty, but I wasn't expecting pink blossoms from the rest of the mix!

I knew the fava beans would look pretty, but I wasn’t expecting pink blossoms from the rest of the mix!

Chives, sea kale, elecampane, grape vine and the beginnings of good bug mix flowers.

Chives, sea kale, elecampane, grape vine and the beginnings of good bug mix flowers.

Black lace elderberry starting to bloom next to quince, strawberries, hazel and comfrey.

Black lace elderberry starting to bloom next to quince, strawberries, hazel and comfrey.

Rhododendrons always bloomed on my birthday as a child. This year they arrived one week early but still going strong.

Rhododendrons always bloomed on my birthday as a child. This year they arrived one week early but still going strong.

Iris in the front of the driveway, next to yarrow, just sprouting hyssop, aster, echinacea (coneflower), lavender, thyme, forsythia and more.

Iris in the front of the driveway, next to yarrow, just sprouting hyssop, aster, echinacea (coneflower), lavender, thyme, forsythia and more.

More iris along the back fence, with grape, raspberries and more echinacea.

More iris along the back fence, with grape, raspberries and more echinacea.

Most of these starts went in the ground during Tania's visit last week, but I replanted some pots with seeds for even more abundance.

Most of these starts went in the ground during Tania’s visit last week, but I replanted some pots with seeds for even more abundance.

First squash blossoms are already out. In addition to companion planting borage, calendula and cilantro, I've protected the base of the stems with aluminum foil to foil the squash vine borers.

First squash blossoms are already out. In addition to companion planting borage, calendula and cilantro, I’ve protected the base of the stems with aluminum foil to foil the squash vine borers.

Squash Blossoms with Purslane Pesto and Sun-dried Tomato

A couple afternoons ago, I noticed an organic farmer’s table set up outside the local branch of our library. Even though David and I had just come from the co-op, I wandered over to the table, attracted by huge bunches of orange, red and yellow flowers. I love flowers, so I bought a bouquet.

Farmer’s Market Flowers

As I was paying, some squash blossoms caught my eye:

Squash Blossoms

I had learned to love squash blossoms last year when a volunteer pumpkin patch completely took over our side garden. The bunch above represents 1/2 of what I bought, since I snapped the photo after preparing my yummy meal. These are male flowers, which have the stamens in them. You remove the stamen before eating, and they are delicious! You can also eat female flowers, but those are the ones that turn into squash, so most farmers only harvest the male flowers.

Typical recipes for squash blossoms involve frying them, stuffing them with herb cheese, or including them in quesadillas. I wanted something raw and vegan that used what I had on hand. Some kind of pesto sounded good, and we have tons of purslane, an aggressive, edible “weed” with high Omega-3’s and a lemony flavor. I love adding purslane to pesto, and last night I decided to emphasize the Omega-3 by adding in soaked and dehydrated walnuts. I did add a few sprigs of fresh basil and a handful of New Zealand spinach, since both needed harvesting, but the pesto was almost entirely purslane, plus the juice of one lemon. Secret ingredients in raw pestos include miso and some kind of nutritional yeast. In this case, I used South River Azuki Bean Miso and what we call “Sprinkle,” Parma’s Chipotle Cayenne vegan parmesan. A touch of Celtic Sea salt rounded out the flavors.

Miso and parma

A couple days earlier, David and I had sliced and dehydrated a bunch of ripe tomatoes, since we were doing a liquid only cleanse. I call them sundried tomatoes, but I guess technically, they are dehydrated tomatoes. Here’s a picture of the tomatoes and the purslane pesto:

In order to eat my squash blossoms with purslane pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, I removed the stamens and then carefully slit open the flowers, stuffing them with pesto and topping with tomatoes. They make pretty little packages that pop with flavor. David was in London, but in between sessions, I enjoyed a romantic, faery dinner with my flowers and more flowers. Deeeeelish! 😉

Squash Blossoms with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato