Ricotta-Stuffed Fried Squash Blossoms


By Annette Joseph
From Picture Perfect Parties

When May rolls around and the squash begins to blossom, I’m ready to start stuffing and frying. If you’ve never tasted fried squash blossoms, the delicate flavors and crisp texture will win you over. This recipe gives you tips to properly prepare this deceptively simple dish. Just be careful not to wash the squash blossoms under the tap—this destroys the texture of the flower. Make sure the oil is very hot; I like to drop a bit of the batter into the oil first to test it—if it quickly crisps up, you’re ready to roll. Hot oil is the secret to these delicate nibbles. I guarantee you will be planting yellow squash in your garden next year just to have this cheese-filled delicacy again. You can find squash blossoms in high-end groceries, and seasonally in farmers markets.

Cheese Filling:
1 cup whole-milk ricotta, preferably fresh
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 to 16 large zucchini squash blossoms

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup chilled seltzer or club soda
4 cups vegetable oil, for frying

For the filling:
1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir or use a hand mixer to whip together all the ingredients until thoroughly blended.

2. Clip the squash blossoms, leaving a 2-inch stem attached (they will come this way from the grocery).

3. Wash the squash blossoms gently in a bowl of water, not under the tap, and dry with a paper towel. Carefully force a small opening in the top of each blossom.

4. Fill a piping bag, or a plastic bag with a hole cut into one corner, with the cheese filling and pipe 1 tablespoon of the filling into the opening of each blossom, filling the flower about halfway up the blossom.

5. Grasp the ends of the flower and gently twist closed. You may refrigerate the stuffed blossoms for up to 2 hours, or fry them immediately.

For the batter:
1. Whisk the flour, egg, cheese, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl until the batter is a smooth consistency. Add the seltzer and continue to whisk until well combined.

2. To fry the squash blossoms, heat the oil in a Dutch oven over high heat until a few drops of batter dropped into the oil crisp up.

3. Use small tongs to dip the stuffed blossoms into the batter, turning to coat, then drop them carefully into the hot oil.

4. Fry batches of 5 blossoms at a time; do not crowd. Fry the blossoms for 5 minutes (no need to turn), or until crisp, and drain on paper towels. Serve hot.