Once accessible mainly to restaurant chefs and cooks with vegetable gardens, vibrant, yellow-orange zucchini blossoms are now widely available at farmers’ markets and specialty grocers when they’re in season. There are many ways to enjoy the blossoms’ delicate texture and faintly sweet flavor, which our tasters likened to the sweetness of “corn” with a hint of “squash essence.” Here are tips to get you started—including how to harvest the blossoms if you grow zucchini at home.
Harvesting Zucchini Blossoms
When harvesting zucchini blossoms, it’s helpful to know the difference between the male and female flowers. The male blossoms are attached to the plant on long, thin stems, while the female blossoms lie close to the ground and are attached to the immature fruit. To encourage an abundant crop, leave most of the female blossoms and pick the male flowers (but leave several to ensure cross-pollination). Male blossoms are more abundant and are typically what you’ll find sold at markets.
Buying Zucchini Blossoms
Choose blossoms that look fresh and are tightly closed.
Storing Zucchini Blossoms
Wrap in damp paper towels and store in a partially open zipper-lock bag in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Prepping Zucchini Blossoms
Trim the stem to about 1 inch and remove any spiny leaves (sepals) at the blossom’s base. Gently peel open the petals and remove the stamen (and any bugs or dirt) inside, rinse briefly under cold water, and dry on clean paper towels.
Simple Uses for Zucchini Blossoms
- Scatter whole blossoms over uncooked pizza and bake
- Stir chopped blossoms into risotto off heat
- Add chopped blossoms to omelets and frittatas
- Add torn blossoms to soups and salads