Hoot Owl Holler Farm: Food That's Both Artful and Delicious
Like many other wonderful central Kentucky growers, Sharon Stratton and Lonnie Wilson bring homegrown, hand-tended food to the Lexington Farmers Market every week from their Hoot Owl Holler Farm. Hoot Owl Holler stands out, for me, because of the care Lonnie and Sharon take to make their products beautiful as well as delicious.
Tender squash blossoms; herbs like sculptures
Lonnie must be a fantastic cook. I bought my first Kentucky fennel from Lonnie years ago, and I asked "How would I cook this?" He told me several ways he uses fennel, including draping salmon filets with fennel fronds before grilling. That proved delicious.
This morning when Lonnie and Sharon showed me their beautiful, fresh, pale gold squash blossoms, I asked, "How do you cook them?" Emphasis on you. I didn't mean, "How does one cook squash blossoms," because I had a feeling Lonnie would know from experience what really works.
Lonnie said, "Stuff them with cheese, dip in a batter, and deep fry." Oh yum! Well, actually, he may have said, "Roll them in meal" or "Roll them in flour," but I heard "batter," because I made an instant assumption that Lonnie is the kind of guy who whips up a batter without a recipe, and fries crispy bites perfectly in fresh oil without raising a sweat.
And then the talk went on, about whether stuffing is needed at all, about how Dudley's may use mushrooms as stuffing (oh, really, yummmmm), and so on. If you and I are thinking alike, we're thinking we might need some recipes for squash blossoms. Here are a few you may find appealing -- and be sure to use your squash blossoms the day you pick them [male blossoms only] or buy them from a grower.
- Squash Blossom Risotto, from New York Times Diner's Journal
- Five Squash Blossom Recipes from seasonalchef.com: Battered (stuffed and unstuffed), frittata, quesadilla, hush puppies (!) and soup.
- Five [more] Ways to Eat Squash Blossoms, from thekitchn.com, including Orangette's Pappardelle with Zucchini Blossom Sauce
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