In "Rancho Cooking" (Sasquatch Books, 2001, 238 pages), Jacqueline Higuera McMahan, an eighth-generation Californian, mentions that her people loved squash blossoms more than they loved squash itself, and although I'm fond of squash almost any way one cooks it, I would have to agree.
You usually don't find squash blossoms in the grocery store; they are fragile and don't take to handling and transport well. But those big showy male flowers are wonderful in a number of recipes. I found them at the farmers market in Sacramento yesterday, along with a long stemmed spring garlic and some beautiful maitake mushrooms, also known as hen of the woods.
This morning, I made omelets with them. Unfortunately, we were so hungry, we ate them before I had a chance to take a photo. If I make them again tomorrow, I will photograph them before we eat.
Lori K's Squash Blossom Omelet
with Maitake and Spring Garlic
⅛ pound maitake mushrooms
1 clove spring garlic, crushed and minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 squash blossoms
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a 12-inch crepe or omelet pan over medium-low heat. Swish the butter stick over the bottom of the heated pan, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until softened, then remove from pan and set aside.
While the mushrooms are cooking, twist the stems off the blossoms and remove them and the pistil and throw that part in the compost. In a separate bowl, beat the three eggs until smooth.
After removing the mushrooms from the pan, add the oil, swish it around and place the flowers in it with the stem areas near the middle. When they have wilted, turn them over.
Add the beaten eggs, swirling the liquid gently around the blossoms as not to disturb them. When they have mostly set, sprinkle the mushrooms over and season to taste. When the edges start curling up a bit, flip in half, then split the omelet and serve immediately.