A couple summers ago when I was volunteering at a local organic farm, there was a huge harvest of squash. Throughout the entire month of August the squash plants were bursting with fruit, forcing the farmers to pick a new load every morning. The farmers became desperate to get rid of the squash and they did almost everything to defeat the monster vegetable (ie. catapulting it, feeding it to the pigs, graciously welcoming invasions of squash bugs to lay new colonies). Yet despite all this, I still love squash :) My family's plants have yet to bear fruit. But we have plenty of blossoms. So here is one recipe that utilizes them in their most natural form. Plus, they are simply beautiful garnish for any dish.
Since writing a thesis last year about the decreasing biodiversity of seeds utilized in agricultural practice worldwide, I have had a greater respect for buying local as much as possible, and all the better heritage, ancient or heirloom varieties of produce. Living in New Mexico it is much harder to find local year round produce than places like California. So being able to find ingredients that are grown in this soil is a rare treat. In the modern day I hope that I can say that alot more people are becoming educated about the current food system, and more people can see that there is an abundance of issues that are being caused by industrialized and mono agricultural farming practices. But I think that alot of people don't realize that at the heart of the problem, is the seed. I could go on and on but moral of the story- buy in your region as much as you possibly can and try and grow your own (easier said than done- our garden is always minature because it is sitting in solid clay. Any compost, minerals, etc. we try to put in it somehow disappears immediately).
Grilled Corn Soup with Green Chiles, Queso Fresco, and Squash Blossoms
makes about 4 servings
5 ears corn, grilled in husk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
5 roasted green chiles, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 small squash blossoms
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1. Slice corn kernels from cobs. Heat olive oil in a large, wide pot over medium heat and add onion, chiles and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and corn kernels and cook 3 minutes more.
2. Pour just enough water into pot to cover corn. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the squash and cook 3 minutes more. Let cool.
3. In batches, whirl corn soup in a blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh colander into a bowl, mashing to press out liquid (if too thick add water). Season with salt.
4. To serve, return soup to pot and gently reheat. Divide among 4 bowls. Top each bowl with diced red pepper, 2 squash blossom halves, and queso fresco.
Recipe adapted from Sunset Magazine August 2008