I don’t think there is any food in its natural state that is more beautiful than a squash blossom. The colors are phenomenal, its a flower, and oh, by the way you can eat it. I have always gotten excited when I would see a chef on TV work with them. So you can imagine how I geeked out when I saw them at the farmers’ market.
I knew how I wanted to make them, fried and stuffed with ricotta cheese. This is not the first time I have had them. Years ago, we had a garden plot at the apartment we were living in. We grew zucchini and I was able to pick I think, like 5 blossoms. Hardly very many, but enough to fall in love. I stuffed them and fried them, and the taste was incredible. Just the faintest zucchini flavor, and a catalyst for holding the creamy ricotta cheese and the light crispy exterior. I knew the next time I could get my hands on them, I would make them again, the same way. So we could really get to eat squash blossoms and not just “taste” them.
I am not going to lie. These are a labor of love. I definitely think making and eating these is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives. Not just because these taste like nothing I have ever had, but also because they make you appreciate the beauty of food. I would also recommend making your own ricotta or buying it from a specialty cheese shop. You want crumbly ricotta for this, not the consistency you get at supermarket. Homemade ricotta is actually very easy and takes 15 minutes to make. The taste is far superior to what you buy at the grocery store.
- 12 zucchini flowers
- 7 ounces fresh ricotta (We used this recipe From NYT Cooking)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 1 tsp chopped mint
- 1 tsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt, plus additional
- few grinds freshly cracked pepper
- zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 for serving
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1¼ cups self rising flour
- 1 cup white wine, whatever you would actually drink
- piping bag or sandwich bag
- vegetable oil, for frying
- Remove the stamen in each flower. In a large bowl filled with cool water, rinse each flower by swishing it back and forth in the water. Try to be as gentle as possible. Place on paper towels to dry. If you're short on time, pat each flower gently to dry. Otherwise, just let them air dry on the paper towel.
- In a small bowl, beat or whisk together the ricotta, Parmesan, mint, parsley, red pepper, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Place in a piping bag or sandwich bag.
- Open up each flower and with the piping bag or sandwich bag (acting as a piping bag) fill each blossom gently until just full. Carefully press the flower back together to enclose the mixture. Then lightly dredge each blossom in all purpose flour, tap to remove the excess flour. Set aside on a plate.
- Whisk together the wine (or sparkling water) and self rising flour together. The consistency should resemble batter or heavy cream. If you stick your finger in it, it should coat it. If it's too thin add more self rising flour, if it's too thick add more wine.
- Heat about two inches of oil in a large deep saucepan to 350°. One by one dip each blossom into the batter making sure each one is completely covered. Let the excess drip off. Carefully place each blossom into the oil. Quickly batter another 1 or 2. Fry no more than 2 or 3 at a time. Fry until golden and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and place on a plate, sprinkle with salt. Serve hot with fresh lemon wedges.