Squash blossoms are to summer produce what ricotta is to cheese – humble and subtle characters in a cast of bold-flavored knockouts. Separately, there’s not much to them, but together, they steal the show.
In this classic Italian recipe, the super delicate flowers are stuffed with a lemony, minty ricotta filling, lightly coated with seltzer-spiked batter, and shallow fried until the petals are crispy crunchy and the inside is warm.
It’s the perfect beginning to a long summer night and a refreshing break from the heirloom tomatoes and peaches that are reigning supreme these days.
Make some raw tomato sauce for dipping or dig in straight up!
Ingredients (serves 2-6)
6 fresh squash blossoms (the larger the better)
1 cup fresh ricotta
Handful mint, chiffonade
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup Parmigianino Reggiano, grated
1 cup flour
½ cup seltzer water
Salt and pepper
2 cups canola oil
Make the filling. In a bowl, mix the ricotta, mint, lemon zest, parmesan and egg yolk until consistent.
Make the batter. In another bowl, combine flour, seltzer, salt and pepper. Add more seltzer until consistency is similar to pancake batter.
Stuff the blossoms. Delicately peel back the petals just enough to create a small opening. Gently (using your fingers, a tiny spatula, or a butter knife), fill the blossoms all the way up with the ricotta mixture. Once filled, carefully twist the ends of the petals between your index finger and thumb to seal.
Batter the blossoms. Place a blossom in the batter bowl and gently rotate until blossom is completely coated. Repeat with remaining blossoms, and set aside for frying.
Fill a heavy bottomed skillet ½ an inch high with oil. Heat until small bubbles form. To test the oil, drop a tiny bit of batter in the oil. If it sizzles and floats, it’s go time!
Place the blossoms in the oil, but don’t crowd them! Fry for 1-2 minutes, until the bottom side is brown and crispy. Gently flip them over and repeat on remaining exposed sides until blossoms are universally golden. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Sprinkle with a little salt and enjoy right away!