Well Dined

3Jun/151

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Have you ever had squash blossoms?  It's kind of weird to eat flowers, right?  But these delicate blooms (stuffed with ricotta cheese and herbs, battered, and fried) are so, so delicious.  They are also extremely perishable and only last a few hours at home.  So it is best to cook them right away.

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I've only ever had squash blossoms in restaurants before, but as soon as I saw them at the farmers market, I knew that I had to try making them myself.  I really wanted to go with a stuffed and fried recipe, which is what I'm used to eating.  But I found a bunch of other cool recipes I'd like to try if they still have them at the market next week - soup, quesadilla, fritatta.

 

So it turns out that there are both male and female blossoms.  The female ones are the ones that grow the  squash and you will sometimes see a baby squash attached.  Mine didn't have those, but I could tell the difference because the female blossoms had a much wider base.  Anyway, to prepare the blossoms you need to gently open the petals and remove the reproductive organs.  And yes, it is kind of weird.  I found the above video to be very helpful.

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Then, fill them with a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan, herbs, and egg yolk.  I realized afterwards that lemon zest would have been really good, too, so add that if you want.  I used a pastry bag to fill mine, which I found to be pretty easy - especially because you will already have opened the flowers a bit to get the stamens out.  You want to fill just the bottom green part - a teaspoon or so for males and a tablespoon or so for females.  Then, twist the tops to hold them shut.

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Make a tempura-like batter from flour, Parmesan, and club soda.  Gently dip the stuffed blossoms into the batter and place into hot oil (I used light olive oil, which is much healthier than vegetable oil) in batches.  Cook, turning once, for 1-2 minutes (they cook quickly).

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Remove to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle immediately with sea salt.  Give the oil time to heat up again before frying the next batch (oil that isn't hot enough leads to greasy food).

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Enjoy right away so that they don't get soggy!

Stuffed Squash Blossoms
adapted from Epicurious
serves 4-6

1 pint zucchini squash blossoms (about 24)
1 cup whole-milk ricotta (preferably fresh)
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
2 tbsp finely chopped basil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chilled seltzer or club soda
About 3 cups light olive oil for frying (vegetable oil is toxic, so I highly recommend olive oil; light olive oil has a neutral flavor)

Gently open blossoms to remove stamens, then rinse and allow to dry on paper towels.

Stir together ricotta, yolk, mint, basil, 1/3 cup Parmesan, and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  (You could also add some lemon zest.)

Carefully open each blossom and fill with the base (the green part before the orange starts) with ricotta filling, gently twisting petals of blossom to enclose filling.  (You may have filling left over.)

Whisk together flour, remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and seltzer in a small bowl.

Heat 1/2 inch oil to 375°F in a 10-inch heavy skillet (use a candy/oil thermometer).  Meanwhile, dip 1/4 of blossoms in batter to thinly coat.  (I found it easiest to lower them in to both the batter and the oil with a spoon.)  Fry coated blossoms, turning once, until golden - 1 to 2 minutes total.  Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain.  Season with salt.  Coat and fry remaining blossoms.  (Return oil to 375°F between batches.)

Serve immediately.

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  1. They are awesome, a rare treat. Don,t see them often.


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