MELLOW YELLOW Remember when “truffle” more often referred to a candy than to the now popular fungus? When arugula was still a mysterious green? Meet the squash blossom, another of the young guns of produce currently making its way into the mainstream. The versatile, light flavor of fresh squash blossoms is perfect for summer, when the flowers are plentiful. But what do they actually taste like? “They are slightly bitter yet somewhat sweet and nutty,” explains David Bull, the executive chef at Austin’s Driskill Grill. Look for squash blossoms to star this month in dishes such as Bull’s squash blossom cocktail: tempura-fried flowers served with a parfait-style layered dip of spinach, horseradish, and truffled Boursin cheese. Ciudad in Dallas stuffs its blossoms with crab, fries them in a Dos Equis batter, and serves them with a tomatillo salsa. San Antonio’s La Calesa prepares a classic Mexican sopa de flor de calabaza (a creamy broth boosted with fresh herbs and mushrooms) as does Hugo’s in Houston, and that’s not all: A seasonal menu at Hugo’s devoted exclusively to squash blossoms will feature them paired with epazote in quesadillas, tucked into empanadas, folded into crepes, and stuffed with corn, peppers, and goat cheese.
Try Squash Blossom Cocktail With English Peas, Horseradish, and Truffled Boursin Cheese from chef David J. Bull of the Driskill Hotel, Austin.