For those in the Mid-Atlantic, zucchini and yellow squash continue to grow well and you might be experiencing a bumper crop. Squash species will flower continually until continually until the first hard frost.. An oft-overlooked (but incredibly delicious) culinary ingredient are the blossoms of edible squash species.
Known in Italy as fiori di zucca, the blossoms are stuffed with a mixture of goat cheese and fresh basil and lightly fried tempura-style in olive oil.
They make an lovely accompaniment to a caprese salad or as part of an antipasti platter.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup sparkling water
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
- 1/3 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 green onion finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 large squash blossom, with the centers removed.
- Olive oil, for frying
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, water and salt until smooth. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, basil and green onion. Mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons filling into each blossom. Close the blossoms and gently twist the petals to seal.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F. (If you don’t have a thermometer, a cube of bread will brown in about 1 minute.) Dip the stuffed zucchini blossoms in the batter and allow any excess batter to drip off. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Allow the cooked blossoms to drain on paper towels.
Salt while still hot and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis for Food Network
Photo courtesy of Gourmet Magazine