For a dinner party last night, squash was on the menu. Also: pork tenderloin. But squash was the main guest, in many forms.

This is because at the farmer’s market yesterday, I was frantically looking for squash blossoms — and all I could find were these tiny, beautiful unopened buds (and I’m sorry, I can’t remember the name of the farm — the stand is next to Mariquita).

I asked what they could be used for — I was in a stuff-with-ricotta-and-fry mindset and these were obviously way too tiny for that — and the guy told me that A16 had requested them from the farm — to be larded generously into risotto or sprinkled over pizza. So I bought a basketful and went on my way. Of course, I did find the bigger squash blossoms over at Mariquita soon after.

It’s a lovely aspect of the relationship between our local farms and local restaurants — working together and willing to experiment with different produce, then passing the benefits along to home chefs as well as the restaurant patrons.

Since I’m ailing — a cold has robbed me of all sense of taste — I can’t describe what they tasted like. But they were delicate and light and quite beautiful in risotto.

The bigger blossoms were also delicious (to those who have the capacity to taste). Stuffed with ricotta and dusted with seasoned flour, then lightly fried in olive oil. We ate them almost right out of the pan.

Plus grilled baby squash — these were like candy.

Yes, much squashy delight.

An Embarrassment of Squashes 2 July,2006Bay Area Bites


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