Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms Over Quinoa Salad

Growing up in Massachusetts, I've never really understood all the fuss about California produce. Hey, we had strawberries and spinach and peaches and squash too! Now that we're living out here, I get it. Every week I have the best XYZ I've ever had (except the corn, nothing beats New England corn on the cob). And there is also access to produce at farmer's markets that you almost NEVER see in the New England... or if you do, you have about 2 days to get it before it's gone. Squash blossoms are a great example of this. I've eaten fried squash blossoms many times in restaurants and always loved them, but never have had the opportunity to cook with them at home. UNTIL NOW.

I expected this project to be difficult and time consuming, but really, it wasn't! It's definitely a two person job to get this done in a timely manner, but don't be daunted by squash blossoms, this was much easier than it looks!

Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients
  • Batter
    • 3/4 cup cornstarch 
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/4 cup flour 
    • 1/2 teaspoon season salt 
    • 1/2 cup water 
    • 1 whole egg, slightly beaten
  • Filling
    • 10 to 15 squash blossoms 
    • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
    • 1 egg yolk
    • Basil to taste
    • Vegetable oil 
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. First, make the batter. Combine the first 5 ingredients, and then stir in the egg and water until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  2. While the batter is chilling, prepare the squash blossoms. Carefully separate the flower petals without breaking them and remove the pistil in the center. 
  3. Combine the cheese, egg yolk, and basil until smooth. Carefully add about a tablespoon of this mixture to each blossom and twist the top of the flower tight. 
  4.  Heat enough oil in a frying pan or dutch oven - about an inch deep - to accommodate the blossoms. 
  5. Get the batter out of the fridge and dip each blossom in batter, coating it. 
  6. Carefully place each batter-covered blossom in the hot oil and fry until golden crisp on both sides. 
  7. Remove and drain on paper towels, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
We ate the squash blossoms over a simple quinoa salad that we don't entirely remember how we made (oops), but essentially it included quinoa, red onion, a mild feta with a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette!






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