I saw these little devils at the farmers market several times, but wasn’t up for the task until recently, when I decided it was time to stuff ‘em with cheese and fry them up! I’m not a big fryer of things–don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love some french fries or a plate of fried calamari now and again–but I’m not usually inspired to do it at home. However, these gorgeous little squash blossoms were just calling my name . . . look how pretty they are!
Now, I decided to serve these over a tomato sauce (having stuffed them with ricotta and all) and enjoy them as a main course, but I think they would lend themselves better to a first course, or possibly a beautiful, edible garnish on a main course. They definitely are very presentable and unique!
Here are some tips regarding squash blossoms:
Don’t rinse them unless they are really dusty — the petals become limp and don’t hold together when stuffed. Remove the stem and calyx (the outer green part covering the bottom of the flower, at the top of the stem). Carefully remove the inner pistil by gently placing a finger inside the blossom, and applying gentle pressure to it until pops off. It can be tricky, but you’ll have the hang of it after the first one. Now they are prepped and ready for stuffing!
Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Cheese and Herbs
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
12 large squash blossoms
1 garlic clove, peeled
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup fresh goat cheese or ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon basil or 2 teaspoons chopped thyme, finely chopped
Black pepper to taste
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup flour
Take the peeled garlic clove and mince it up with the ¼ teaspoon of salt. Transfer to a small bowl, and mix with the goat or ricotta cheese, Parmesan, parsley, basil or thyme and a pinch of black pepper. Mix well.
Carefully open the petals of each blossom and stuff about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the base. Twist the tops of the petals together.
Place the flour into a shallow bowl and the beaten egg into another shallow bowl.
Dip each blossom, one at a time, first into the egg, letting the excess drip off, and then into the flour, shaking off the excess.
Heat ½-inch of olive oil in a medium skillet, over medium heat.
Fry the blossoms, 2 or 3 at a time, turning occasionally until golden, 2-4 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels. Serve immediately.
*Alternatively, place stuffed blossoms on a greased baking sheet, and bake in a 350° oven until thoroughly heated, about 20 minutes.