One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is go to the farmers’ market and look around. I rarely go with a list. Instead, I prefer to stroll by each stand and see who has what and just buy whatever strikes my fancy.
Yesterday, I came across cans filled with summer squash blossoms. The floppy yellow flowers were all closed up as though they were trying to hide. I stopped to admire them and thought about what I could create. At that moment the man running the stand walked up to me and we talked about the possibilities of summer squash blossoms. We each took our our phones and started searching the Internet for recipes. He suggested that I chop them up and toss them into quesidillas, but I wanted to use the whole flower and display their full glory in whatever I cooked.
We both came across a recipe where you stuff the blossoms with a mixture of cheese and herbs. I had never made squash blossoms, but I thought they would be a nice little appetizer for the potluck supper I was going to that evening in Millennium Park. I bought a bunch for $6 and then headed to Trader Joe’s to pick up the rest of ingredients for my recipe.
When you get your squash blossoms home stick them in a glass of water right away if you are not going to prepare them right away. And, you really must use them the same day you buy them because I think they just don’t have the heart to make it much longer than that. They are not hearty flowers.
I found a recipe on the website, Epicurious, but I made modifications such as swapping out mint for basil and using half goat cheese and half ricotta rather than using all ricotta.
Summer Squash stuffed with cheese
First thing you want to do is rinse the flowers and allow them to dry thoroughly.
Mix together in one bowl, the following:
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 egg yolk
1 tbl of finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Delicately open the summer squash flowers and using your fingers place 2 tsp of the cheese mixture inside and gently twist the top of the flower closed. Set aside on a plate.
Batter for frying
Combine in a bowl:
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup chilled seltzer
Dips stuffed blossoms into batter
Heat a 10-inch skillet with about 2 cups of oil for frying to 375 degrees. (I didn’t use a thermometer. Instead when the oil looked hot enough I tossed a pearl sized bit of the batter into the pan and watch it cook right up. The pan was ready) Cook the blossoms in batches. Be sure to watch them and turn after a minute of cooking or once it is golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
The recipe called for a tomato sauce for a dip, but it really doesn’t need it. They stand perfectly on their own without any adornment. They’re best piping hot, but they also traveled well to the picnic. And, I have to say everyone thought they tasted fantastic.