June 22, 2010

Squash Blossom & Mushroom Ragu


To: Roberto

I think I just thought of a great way to use up those squash blossoms. Tonight, in addition to the chicken, we should sauté the mushrooms we have along with the blossoms. I think it would taste good and go well with the chicken, smothering it along with a nice layer of prosciutto. Could be a brilliant genius move on our part.

To: Tracy
Re: Monday

That sounds like a good idea...very inspired!  :)


No pasta.

No Pasta?

No pasta.

I prepped the salad, Roberto pounded out the chicken breasts—THWACK—THUD—THWAK (salad greens rinse no. 1), layering it with grated parmesan, pecorino romano, chopped parsley (salad greens rinse no. 2), and prosciutto. By the third and final rinse, the chicken was prepped and waiting on a plate.

Roberto tore open a paper bag, coating it with a layer of flour for dredging, I cleaned and prepped the mushrooms and squash blossoms (they were tingling with fur, the blossoms—I pulled off the stem; sliced off the bottom; shook out the innards; slit open; and rinsed). By the time I had everything sliced and waiting in their respective bowls, Roberto had the butter and olive oil coating the bottom of a pan, ready to start the sauté.

"Is this all of them?" He asked.

"Yep. Once you clean them, they don't amount to much." I said.

Kitchen quiet.

Assembly of salad (sauté of squash blossoms and mushrooms transferred to a bowl).

Roberto had butter and olive oil coating the bottom of another pan, ready to start the chicken (a delicate maneuver, the dredging in flour).

Olives (oil cured and a mix of green both with and without pit) and mozzarella arranged on a plate (chicken into pan, prosciutto side down—a sear).

"How much time?" I asked.

"Not much. You should prep the salad." He said.

Bread sliced (a bit stale—into the toaster oven).

Salad hit with salt, extra virgin olive oil, and red wine vinegar.

The chicken rested on a plate while Roberto deglazed the pan with white wine. The sauté of squash blossoms and mushrooms added (perhaps a bit more butter—just a nub—I'll never know). The chicken added back in, gently, one cutlet at a time, prosciutto side up. The juice left on the plate, remnants from the rested chicken, poured back into the pan as well.

Red wine poured into glasses.


We sat down to the table, piling salad onto our plates, taking sips of wine, and securing pieces of bread for sopping. My eyes glued to my plate, my mind focused on the task at hand. Fork in left hand. Knife in right. Slice.

"How does it taste?" I asked.

"I haven't tried it yet." He said.

I looked up and smiled.


  1. That is an inspired combination! And bread sounded appropriate for this meal--and you know that I usually have a very pro-pasta stance.

    I love your email conversations. :-)

  2. I am so hungry now reading about this delicous dinner. The carrot sticks I'm munching on just aren't cutting it!

  3. sounds like a brilliant genius move! and looks so pretty in the skillet.

    i can imagine the subtle squashy flavor coming through.....

    i agree, sometimes it is best to set aside pasta for the good bread sop.

  4. I simply cannot imagine a better way to enjoy squash blossoms! Thank you!

  5. I can answer this question....it tastes great!!!
    I'm pouring myself a glass of red...jealous of your dinner!

    Any ideas on how to store those delicate zucchini blossoms???? they don't seem to be very usable the next day :(

  6. I can almost smell the aromas that filled the kitchen. Looks great!

  7. Inspired, indeed. I'm so hungry and don't feel like cooking at all. I hate it when this happens. It doesn't seem to ever happen to the two of you. You are lucky.

  8. that looks and sounds so so delicious. oh my! gotta go as i'm salivating and i have nothing close to that beautiful and tasty coming to my table in the near future.

  9. I've only tasted stuffed squash blossoms. You two bring it to a whole new level. (And, I'm suffering from major pan envy.)

  10. Elizabeth - It's getting harder to go just one day without pasta.

    Lindsey Frances - Carrot sticks and food blogs are known enemies.

    nancy - So subtle, the blossoms. Really happy that we didn't let them go to waste.

    redmenace - We're trying to figure out what we can do with them next. Probably a good old stuff and fry.

    M. - Ours had quite a bit of stem and I know they hung out in a plastic bag in the fridge before they were given to us.

    Michele - The smell of dinner lingered, for sure.

    Denise - We usually go out for a burger when we don't feel up to the task...But, yeah, it doesn't happen very often. :)

    countingdandelions - It was one of those meals were we had to use up everything that went into it else it all would spoil. Those make for the best meals.

    Jenious - I've been challenging myself and us lately to do different things. But, I have to be honest, I wouldn't mind going without squash blossoms for a while.

  11. Deliciousness....too bad you are in baltimore...we could meet up for a food date!

  12. gorgeous photos! everything looks divine :)

    xo Alison

  13. I like your E mails regarding supper so much. Looks delicious and, well yes, inspired.

  14. Love the dialogue...sounds like my husband and me cooking supper!

  15. This sounds incredible - truly. I will have to try to recreate.

  16. haha--i love your conversations on here. i found your blog through crumpets and cakes. love it so far! this would be amazing over pasta. perfect summer meal!


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