Thursday, July 23, 2015

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Unless you're an avid gardener, squash blossoms are a delicacy found only at Farmers' Markets.  Because they are so perishable, they need to be used almost the day that they're picked.  These lovely blossoms are typically thought of as either a trendy menu item or 'something my grandmother used to make'.

I first discovered them at a seaside farmers' market.  I experimented with them a bit, stuffing, frying, saut√©ing.  By far, our favorite way to eat them is stuffed with cheese, dipped in batter and quickly fried.  What's not to love?!

I like to keep the batter on the light side, as the blossoms are delicate in flavor and texture and heavy  batter would overtake the blossom.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes about 4 servings

about 16 squash blossoms
1 cup ricotta
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 to 1 cup beer or club soda 
Oil for frying

Remove stamen from blossoms. 

Combine ricotta, basil, Parmesan, garlic and lemon zest.   Using a pastry bag or spoon, fill each blossom with about 1 tablespoon cheese mixture.  Twist ends gently to close.

Combine flour and salt; gently stir in beer until smooth.  (The batter is very light, if you like a thicker coating, use less beer.)

Pour about 1 ½ to 2 inches oil into deep skillet and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. (or add a drop of batter and when it starts to sizzle it’s ready.)

Dip blossoms in batter shaking off excess batter.  Gently lay them in the oil, without crowding the pan. Cook, flipping once with a slotted spoon, until golden, about 3 minutes. 

Transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy!

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