I’ve wanted to try making stuffed squash blossoms for a while now. I picked some up at the farmers market last year, but didn’t quite get around to fixing them up, not to mention I was slightly intimidated by the thought of deep-frying them. I saw them again this year and thought I’d give it a go. We have a ‘doughnuts’ chapter coming up for The Breakfast Book project so I figured I’d better try my hand at frying before that next chapter.
And you know what? It really wasn’t that bad! I bought a thermometer, kept the oil at temperature, and it all worked out. The greatest part is that my stuffed blossoms were AMAZING. I loved the crispness from the tempura-like batter and the ricotta center was a delightful, creamy contrast to the exterior. The blossoms are really just a vessel with minimal taste to themselves, so it’s important to have the right in (and out) sides.
I consulted a couple different recipes, and one had parmesan in addition to ricotta and another added lemon zest, I think both would be great additions. I’d also love to try them again with a melty-er, stringy-er cheese – I’ve had a couple different varieties in restaurants and they are all good. While you have to be a little delicate with the flowers as you’re filling them, these are definitely worth the little bit of effort – oh, and the tomato sauce is SO amazing. The slightest kick from red pepper flakes, and pure tomato goodness, it’s the perfect summer combination.
Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Tomato Dipping Sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pound tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Heat oil in pan, add garlic and pepper flakes. Cook for about 30 seconds until garlic is light brown. Add rest of ingredients, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Simmer uncovered for 25-30 min until thick, stir occasionally.
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta (preferably fresh)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tbsp cup finely chopped mint
- 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
- 12 to 16 large zucchini squash blossoms
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup chilled seltzer or club soda
- About 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
Stir together ricotta, yolk, mint, 1/3 cup parmesan, and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Carefully open each blossom, remove stamens, and fill with ricotta filling, gently twisting end of blossom to enclose filling. (You may have filling left over.)
Whisk together flour, remaining 1/3 cup parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and seltzer in a small bowl.
Heat 1/2 inch oil to 350°F in a 10-inch heavy skillet. When the oil is hot, dip the blossoms in batter to thinly coat. Fry coated blossoms, turning once, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes total. To maintain the temperature, you may need to do a few batches, so you don’t crowd the pan. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain. Season with salt. Serve with tomato sauce.
Original Recipe here