Sometimes it really freaks me out how life works. It goes by so fast! Half the time I can’t even believe where I am and what I am doing. If you would have told me 30 years ago that one day I would be eating fried squash blossoms on the side of a mountain, I would have never believed you in a million years. But yet here I am…
Vegetables from our farm:
It seems like only a couple of years ago when I was a Tomboy running around the farm, feeding oversized produce to my daddy’s hogs. Hogs are really strange creatures and they scared me a little. But I will tell ya, I always got a kick out of feeding them vegetables. It is fascinating to me how they could devour a large overgrown squash in a matter of seconds! Especially that gigantic boar my daddy had in the pin by himself!
The vegetables I fed the hogs came from mama and daddy’s garden. They had one of the biggest and most beautiful gardens you could imagine. There were rows and rows of well-tilled Southampton County soil, in which beautiful ears of sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, snaps (green beans), butter beans, beets, cucumbers, peas, squash, and zucchini came from, among other vegetables. We practically had produce running out of their ears during the summer months. It was a labor of love and we ate well all winter because of it.
I miss the days of eating all that summer goodness and it kind of hurts my heart a little that David and I don’t have a garden of our own. It’s too much trouble keeping all those critters out and you practically have to build a fence like the one at Fort Knox to keep the deer out. Forget it! So instead, we just support the farmers’ markets during the summer months.
The farmers market:
Out of all the produce at the farmers’ market, squash blossoms are what David and I look forward to the most! Fried squash blossoms stuffed with cheese are one of our favorite summer treats. It was almost exactly two years ago when David and I first discovered squash blossoms for sale at the farmers’ market.
As soon as we saw them, we knew we had to have them. I did not have a clue about what to do with squash blossoms, but I knew I was going to do something with them. We’d have to figure that part out later after we got home. Through the powers of Google, I found a great article at TheKitchn.com that quickly educated me on what to do with these beauties and a recipe on how to stuff the squash blossoms with cheese and fry them too.
Wait… Fried? Cheese? Yes, please!
All that time growing up on the farm and we never knew, you could eat the blossoms. Who knew?!!?
How to select the squash blossoms:
Before I share this recipe with you, I want to help you select the blooms.
According to The Splendid Table, use the blossoms from zucchini. Other squash flowers can have strong, unpleasant flavors. Harvest the male flowers once they have just opened. The male flowers have stems and you can tell them from females because the females are attached to the squash. They also go on to say that you should use them as soon as possible, but I have found that the blossoms are not as delicate as they seem. In fact, I have actually left them inside and uncovered carton in the refrigerator a couple of days and still find them easy to work with if not better.
Don’t worry, if you don’t have the luxury of growing your own squash, and you can’t find them, ask one of the farmers for flowers at your local farmers’ market or in specialty food stores. If they have zucchini on their farm stand, they’ll have blooms on their farm. I just so happen to know that farmers don’t bite and they will be happy to help you get some blossoms. Just ask!
Fried squash blossoms are practically a delicacy! The delicate squash blossoms are filled with a well seasoned creamy ricotta cheese, dipped in a light batter and fried to a crispy golden brown. If you have your own garden and zucchini are starting to run out of your ears this summer, here’s something different you can try. Prepare them as a unique appetizer or as a side dish this summer for family and friends.
How to make fried squash blossoms
Combine cornstarch, baking powder, pepper, flour, then season with salt. Stir in the egg and water until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes before frying.
While the batter is chilling, prepare the squash blossoms.
Use your fingers to carefully separate the flower petals without breaking them and remove the pistil in the center. Rinse the flowers under cold water, paying attention not to damage petals. Lay them spaced out on a paper towel and gently pat dry.
Combine the cheese, mayonnaise, oregano, and breadcrumbs until smooth.
Pour the filling inside a piping bag or use a plastic storage bag and cut the tip-off one corner, so that you can carefully add about a tablespoon of this mixture to each blossom and twist the top of the flower tight.
FRYING THE SQUASH BLOSSOMS:
Heat enough oil in a frying pan to accommodate the blossoms (about 1 inch deep). Get the batter out of the fridge and dip each blossom in batter, coating it.
When the oil is hot, carefully place each batter-covered blossom in the hot oil and fry until golden crisp on both sides.
Be careful! This batter contains a little water, which tends to make it pop and spatter a little more than usual.
Remove the blossoms and drain on paper towels; sprinkle with salt and pepper, while hot.
Allow the squash blossoms to cool for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.
If you have a been reading my blogs for a while, this isn’t a case of Déjà vu you may recall this recipe for fried squash blossoms posted before. I have prepared them a few times since my original post and I thought this post would be worth sharing again. Besides, we are learning that these magical blooms are becoming the star of many dishes that I want to share with you in the coming days. I figured this blog post would give you the best description of how to prepare the squash blossoms for those recipes too.
Preparing the blossoms to fry is a little time-consuming, but the results are well worth the effort. What are your thoughts about fried squash blossoms? Will you try them? Have you ever had them?
I would love to hear what you have to say. Comment below!
Fried Squash Blossoms
- ¾ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon season salt
- ½ cup water
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 10-15 squash blossoms
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
- Peanut, Canola or Vegetable oil for frying
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Combine the first 5 ingredients, and then stir in the egg and water until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the batter is chilling, prepare the squash blossoms.
- Carefully separate the flower petals without breaking them and remove the pistil in the center. Combine the cheese, mayonnaise, oregano, and breadcrumbs until smooth.Pour the filling inside a piping bag or use a plastic storage bag and cut the tip off one corner, so that you can carefully add about a tablespoon of this mixture to each blossom and twist the top of the flower tight.
- Heat enough oil in a frying pan to accommodate the blossoms (about 1 inch deep). Get the batter out of the fridge and dip each blossom in batter, coating it. When the oil is hot, carefully place each batter-covered blossom in the hot oil and fry until golden crisp on both sides.
- Remove and drain on paper towels, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Recipe originally posted June 12, 2016.