Summer is sadly coming to an end, and so is my toasted-marshmallow skin. I had such an amazing season this year, one for the books! However, mother nature isn’t quite done with her sun-kissed goods, yet. Tomatoes are at their peak, hot peppers are popping up all around, and my beloved squash blossoms are blooming once again. This is the time of year I always wait for because there are so many fantastic ingredients to work with and preserve for later. My kitchen stove has been huffing and puffing trying to keep up!
This week I wanted to focus on one of the best ingredients that anyone can work with– chefs and home cooks alike–the squash blossom. I first encountered these while traveling in Italy with my mother a few years ago. She told me about how special they are, and I waited not so patiently to find them on a menu. They were even more tasty than I imagined! Stuffed with an herbed cheese then dipped in the lightest batter and fried to golden perfection…it was love at first bite. It was so surprising that a flower could be turned into something so delicious!
This recipe my seem involved and out of reach, but it’s a pretty simple process. Getting cheese covered hands is totally worth it for just one of these fried blossoms. I will say, it might be harder to find the blossoms in a rural area if you don’t grow your own squash, but ask your local farmer if they would be willing to pick some blossoms for you. They should be around till the end of September.
Let’s get fried!
Stuffed Summer Squash Blossoms
Get a taste of Italian summers with these fried squash blossoms! Bring out the rose and be totally transported...
- 8-12 fresh squash blossoms depending on the size
- 4oz goat cheese*
- 2 Tablespoons grated parmigiano cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup chilled sparkling water
- Simple tomato sauce for serving
- Also, you'll need vegetable oil for frying
- *I prefer to use a flavored cheese such as Purple Haze by Cypress Grove Chevre which has lavender and fennel pollen or Garlic and Fine Herb cheese by Boursin. If you want just a hint of these flavors, you can use half of one of these products and half plain goat cheese.
- Step 1 Combine the cheeses, egg yolk, and pepper in a bowl with a fork, set aside.
- Step 2 Inspect all of the blossoms to see if there are bugs hanging out, remove any inhabitants. I don’t wash the flowers since water and hot oil don’t mix well. If you see any dirt just wipe away with a moist towel.
- Step 3 Get ready to stuff your blossoms!
- Step 4 Prepare the flowers by opening the petals with one hand and spooning a generous tablespoon of filling into the center of the blossom with your other hand (see images below).
- Step 5 Use a finger the press the filling all the way down, close the petals, and twist to seal. Once closed you may gently squeeze the filling down to the stem.
- Step 6 This process sounds more complicated than it is. I had a friend help me assemble these one night who had never seen or heard of stuffed squash blossoms, and he did a great job! Don’t be afraid, they are just flowers!
- Step 7 Once your blossoms are stuffed, get your fry oil going to about 350°F, I use an electric deep fryer for ease.
- Step 8 Whisk the flour and sparkling water together till smooth (this is basically a tempura batter).
- Step 9 When the oil is ready, dip a blossom in the batter, shake off any excess, and pop in the oil.
- Step 10 Cook the blossoms for 1-3 minutes, flipping once, until golden.
- Step 11 Let cool on a bed of paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
- Step 12 Continue until you’ve fried all of them.
I like to serve them with a simple tomato sauce, homemade of course. You can use any good jar of clean-tasting sauce. These babies are hot, so serve them warm so you don’t burn any tongues! They won’t last long, trust me.
I usually serve these as an appetizer for two before a light salad…these are the stars of the night. However, at a dinner for four or six people you would have plenty to share as well.This recipe works best for a sit down dinner party since they must be fresh!
I really can’t convey how amazing these are!!!