Most people look at me funny when I say I am going to be serving fried pumpkin blossoms. Many people do not realize that they actually taste very much like fried morel mushrooms.
As you all know by now my Mom is an avid gardener. Every summer since I can remember she has been making her famous fried pumpkin blossoms. I grew up eating them, my children have grown up eating them and now my grandchildren are eating them. I guess that the tradition is being passed down through the generations because they are so good and taste like fried morel mushrooms.
Every spring, in our neck-of-the-woods, people go “mushroom hunting.” What they are actually doing is traipsing through the woods to find morel mushrooms. Now remember, not all mushrooms are safe to eat. **Some mushrooms are poisonous so before you go gathering a handful make sure you are ingesting the safe varieties.
Now let’s take a trip to the farm…
See those lovely large green leaves growing on that mound of dirt? Those are pumpkins. Not just any kind of pumpkins but a variety called Connecticut Field Pumpkins. This particular variety of pumpkin is usually grown specifically for it’s blossoms. It can also be used for carving and for baking; although in my opinion there are better varieties to use for baking. It usually produces medium pumpkins; approximately 8 – 10 inches in height and 12 inches in diameter with the average weight being 12 pounds.
You can find Connecticut Field Pumpkins here: “Connecticut Field” Pumpkin Seeds
It is quick and easy to pick the pumpkin blossoms. They are so tender that they practically fall off into your hands when you pick them. Occasionally there will be a few bees inside the blossoms so we are always careful to tap the blossoms before we pick them. The bees help pollinate the plants and that in turn is what helps the plants produce the pumpkins.
We gather as many of the blossoms that we want. If we leave the blossoms on the vine, they will eventually turn into pumpkins.
We take the blossoms home and gently rinse them with cool water.
Now for the yummy part….
Take two bowls. In one bowl place finely ground cracker crumbs and in the other bowl beat a couple of eggs. You can use Saltine or Ritz cracker crumbs or Panko crumbs work well too.
The first step is to dredge the pumpkin blossoms in the beaten eggs and allow the excess to drain off, then coat each side of the blossom with cracker crumbs.
Fry the blossoms in a small amount of oil, (I prefer extra virgin olive oil). It’s optional but you can sprinkle the blossoms with a dash of salt. (I usually do not salt mine because I feel like there is enough salt in the cracker crumbs). Fry blossoms on both sides until golden brown. Remove from heat and serve.
I prefer my blossoms without condiments, however, my husband likes to eat his with ketchup. To make this recipe gluten-free simply substitute regular crackers with gluten free cracker crumbs. All other ingredients are natural gluten free.
These pumpkin blossoms taste very similar to fried morel mushrooms and they are super easy to grow. No more ‘hunting’ for those ever evasive wild mushrooms… simply grow a few of these pumpkin plants and they will be at your very fingertips!