Use What Grows Nearby: Stuffed Rose of Sharon Blossoms
Stuffed Rose of Sharon Blossoms are a delicious and perfect substitute for those squash blossoms I don’t have in my garden. I decided it wasn’t worth fighting the squash bugs every year, so I buy my squash at the farmer’s market. But I LOVE cheese stuffed squash blossoms. I’d make them more often if I could.
When working in my gardens I had the idea that Rose of Sharon flowers are very similar in structure to squash blossoms. They’re mild flavored, tender and succulent. As cousins to hibiscus they also have some medicinal qualities, soothing and coating the digestive tract. For several years, we’ve eaten the pink, rose and white flowers raw in salads. I wondered if they would work as well in a baked dish. They worked great, holding their shape and allowing the bold flavors of the herbed cheese to shine through.
You will need:
- Rose of Sharon flowers
- Baking pan with sides
- Cream cheese
- Shredded cheddar
- Beaten egg
- Small bowl of seasoned flour
1. Pick blossoms and clip out the inner pistil/stamen structure. Leave the green end on – it’s a great handle.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Put several pats of butter on a baking sheet with sides and place in oven to melt butter. It should be a thick puddle; this is an oven-baked alternative to deep-fried.
3. Add chives and shredded sharp cheddar to cream cheese to make a very stiff spread you can handle easily.
4. Roll cheese spread into balls and insert into flowers to fill 2/3 full. Pinch petals at tip to close tightly around cheese.
6. Dredge egg-coated blossoms in seasoned flour. I used Einkorn flour and added a little salt, pepper, and paprika.
7. Place flowers in butter on baking sheet, leaving space between. Bake 7-10 minutes, until bottoms are browned. Turn carefully with tongs. Bake 5 minutes more, until bottoms are browned again. Serve immediately.