A highlight of summer gardens is eating the beautiful flowers that grow from squash plants. Also known as squash blossoms, these delicate treasures are perhaps best showcased by stuffing them with herbed cheese and frying in a light and airy batter. It’s arguably the best way to eat them.
- 1 to 2 dozen squash blossoms
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 small handful of basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Flaky salt and lemon wedges to serve
- Vegetable oil for frying
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ cup sparkling water or club soda
- Brush or carefully rinse the outside of the squash blossoms to clean, then gently open the flowers and remove the stamens. For more detailed instructions for cleaning and storing, please read my previous article, How To Clean and Cook Squash Blossoms.
- In a small bowl, stir the ricotta, basil, and minced garlic to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Fill a pastry bag or plastic Ziploc bag with the ricotta. Cut a small corner or the tip of the bag to pipe the cheese inside the blossoms. Use your fingers to press the petals to seal. If you don’t use all of the ricotta, save leftovers for swiping across toasted bread.
- Make the batter by blending all of the ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Don’t overmix.
- Preheat a large pot over medium-high heat and fill with 1 to 2 inches of oil. Heat to 365°F.
- Dip each blossom into the batter and let the excess drip off. Carefully drop into the hot oil. Work in batches as needed and fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until crispy. The crust will not turn golden brown like many other batters.
- Transfer the fried blossoms to a plate covered with paper towels to soak up excess oil. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and a squeeze of lemon to serve.