Jordan came home on Saturday night to me happily bustling away in the kitchen and the smell of BBQ in the air. It seemed, however, that he was worried. He had noticed a small bag of squash blossoms on the counter and foresaw disaster—a tremendously unhappy Emily with the blood of a failed experiment in delicate cuisine on her hands. Well, I am happy to report (and I’m sure Jordan is extremely relieved to report) that our first foray into squash blossom cookery was a success!
We’ve had squash blossoms before, but always at restaurants with professionals taking charge. When I saw them at Bi-Rite Market I knew I had to have them, despite not knowing how to cook them. The window of opportunity to enjoy squash blossoms is quite short after all and I wanted to take advantage of it. Thankfully, Chez Panisse had my back and I found a recipe for stuffed squash blossoms. Earlier at Bi-Rite I had the foresight to buy some sheep’s milk ricotta cheese and everything else I had on hand.
Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Squash Blossoms
6 – 8 squash blossoms
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 T chopped herbs (I used chives, thyme and a tiny bit of sage)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, zested
2 T milk
1 cup Maseca or all-purpose flour
oil for frying (safflower, sunflower or peanut oil)
In a small bowl, mix the cheese, herbs and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stuff the squash blossoms with a tablespoon or so of filling. Twist the tops shut. Place on a plate and stick in the fridge for 5 – 10 minutes to firm up.
Heat an inch or two of oil in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Beat the egg and milk together. Dunk the blossoms in the milk mixture and then in the flour. Fry 3 minutes per side until just golden. You don’t want to over cook them or risk cheese leaks. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with coarse salt and serve hot.