I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a new recipe in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my babies but this one is really something special.
I started being more conscious of my health and what I ate three summers ago – this is when I started running and finally decided to check out the farmers’ market. I don’t want to be dramatic here but it was life changing and it has been an ongoing journey since.
I kept going back to favorites each season and I was usually ready to try a new plant just so I knew what it tasted like. Over the years, I’ve discovered ramps, garlic scapes, green garlic, patty squash, and a few others. For a couple of summers now, I’ve passed by these new ones and was hesitant to cook with them. These intimidating little things are squash blossoms.
If you’re not familiar with squash blossoms, they are the beautiful golden flowers that bloom on top of zucchinis. Whenever I see them though, I sort of panic between putting them into my basket to try them at home and leaving them there for someone else who could treat them better. I can now safely say that they no longer scare me.
Before giving you this recipe today, I’ve tried several methods – sautéed, just fried, and of course, stuffed with cheese and fried. The last method is arguably the most popular way to cook them because squash blossoms are the perfect vessels for cheesy stuffing. After stuffing and frying, these flowers still maintain their refreshing light quality. For those reasons alone, they make the most amazing summer appetizers.
So remember, if an ingredient ever intimidates you, just know that you can make a flower beautiful and delicious. Ahhh, the circle of life.
Stuffed Ricotta Squash Blossoms
Adapted from Epicurious
makes about 12-15 blossoms
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 sage leaves
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper
12-15 squash blossoms
1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup cold water
Vegetable oil for frying
In a small pan on low heat, lightly toast whole garlic clove for 1-2 minutes on each side. This will help take some of the bite out of the garlic. Then mince up the garlic and place in a small bowl. Add ricotta and Parmesan cheese to the bowl. Chop up the sage and toss in the bowl. Finally, add egg yolk and season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Mix the cheese combination thoroughly. Prep the squash blossoms by carefully ripping down one side of the flower and use a small spoon to scoop half a tablespoon of filling into the blossoms. Then gently twist them at the top to close them – it’s ok if they don’t fully close. Set them aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour and cold water together. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk again. The consistency should resemble pancake batter.
In a heavy skillet, such as cast iron, add vegetable oil until it’s about 1/2 inch deep over medium heat. Test the oil by adding a drop of flour batter to the hot oil. If it starts sizzling immediately, then it’s ready for frying.
Dip the stuffed blossoms into the batter and let any excess drip off. Place them into the frying pan and let each side sizzle for 1-2 minutes before turning them over. Place them onto a plate lined with paper towel. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving. Top off with a little sea salt.