Squash Blossom Special

I know the title of this blog is a rip off of the beloved bluegrass song, “Orange Blossom Special,” but I’m so inspired after discovering squash blossoms yesterday at the Saturday Great Falls, Virginia, Farmer’s Market that I just don’t know what I’ll say next!

I stopped by the Penn Farms tent where Tessa and Samantha were chatting away about perfect teeth until I came up to them and said, “What are these?” (pointing to the squash blossoms).

Tessa went enthusiastically into her explanation:

“These are squash blossoms; they’re all over the Internet! And, you have to pick them at the exact right time, like 7 a.m., or they are just no good and you have to wait a whole day. Zucchini is plentiful in summer so we have tons! You stuff them, dip them in a batter, fry them and they are delicious!” (Samantha is shaking her head the whole time especially about picking them at the right time; she was emphatically nodding in agreement.)

I asked, “What do I stuff them with?”

In unison, they replied, “Cheese!”…Any kind of cheese.

“Or meat,” said Tessa, “like you would stuff anything else, a pepper, a tomato, a mushroom.”

She continued….”What’s really good is to stuff them with meat, then dip them in pancake batter and fry them so you have a savory flavor mixed with a sweet flavor.”

Many blossomsI decided then and there to buy some and Tessa started choosing the best ones for me. (They all looked fresh and great so I’m not sure how she chose but I could tell she likes taking care of her customers.)

“They’re [Squash Blossom Recipes] are all Over the Internet”

Tessa said I should eat them within a few days so I started searching for a recipe with my “How to Cook Everything” app. Nothing. Then I went to my old standby website, epicurious, and did a search. Eureka! Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Ricotta. I set about to use this recipe as the basis for my own. Thanks to epicurious, here is the recipe with only slight modifications from me:

Stuffed Squash Blossoms [Known in Italy as fiori di zucca]

Buy a prepared marinara sauce for dipping. This recipe makes about 10 large squash blossoms. Can serve as an appetizer or as a main course with a salad.

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR BATTER

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chilled club soda
  • About 1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Wash squash blossoms and pat dry.

Mix filling ingredients until well blended. Open each blossom and fill with a spoonful of cheese mixture. Twist the end of the blossom.

Prepare batter by stirring together the ingredients.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Meanwhile, dip a few of the stuffed blossoms in the batter to thinly coat. Fry coated blossoms until golden about five minutes, turning once. Transfer with tongs to paper towers to dry. Coat and fry the remaining blossoms.

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