There are two big themes that seem to run through my cooking ever since I “grew up”. The first is the realization that I actually like foods that I always swore I hated when I was younger, and the second is the discovery of many foods I never knew about as a child.
Well, that isn’t exactly true. Several of these foods – like Brussels sprouts, for example – I had heard of quite often. Every children’s book talks about kids who refuse to eat their Brussels sprouts. But they seemed a kind of fairy-tale invention… in the same way that curds and whey or Turkish delight did. These were foods that, to my younger self, didn’t really exist in the real world (or, at the very least, my idea of what they actually were when I read about them in stories greatly differed from what they are in real life. I always thought curds and whey was something like oatmeal…)
But it’s these “fairy tale” foods, or the foods that I’d never even heard about until several years into food blogging, that hold the biggest fascination for me. Like Brussels sprouts. (I never had them as a child, and have loved them ever since I first tried them as an adult.) Or zucchini blossoms… why didn’t anyone ever tell me that you could eat flowers?!
Just as with my first encounter with Brussels sprouts, it took a year or two for me to build up the courage to actually buy them. I’ve never cooked these flowers… what if I do something wrong, or buy them and make a disaster of them, or…
But last week at the farmer’s market, I saw them for the first time at one of my usual stands… and on a spontaneous whim, they somehow ended up coming home with me. But now what?
Thank goodness for Twitter. It’s a lifesaver, in times like these. The very awesome Gaby Dalkin rescued me with the idea to put them on pizza (and she even had a recipe on her blog that I could check out!)
Oh my… yum. I had some flatbreads in the freezer from the hummus stand at the farmer’s market that my mom had told me were great for pizza, so I pulled those out, spread them with a little olive oil, mozzarella cheese, pancetta, and these squash blossoms. So good. The squash blossoms have a very delicate flavor, so you don’t want to overwhelm them with strong cheeses or other toppings… but this was perfect.
Very closely based on the Squash Blossom and Pancetta Pizza recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking. If you want real pizza, follow her recipe… mine uses a pre-made flatbread, so the cooking times and temperatures are different.
- 1 8″ flatbread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 squash blossoms
- 1/2 oz pancetta
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Saute the pancetta in a skillet until it gets browned and crispy.
- Brush the flatbread with olive oil. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
- Cut off the bottom of the blossoms and clean out the insides, then tear them into large pieces.
- Top the pizza with the pancetta and blossoms.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.