Why hello there! It’s been a while. Don’t worry, I’m not creeping away from the blogging world. I’ve just been insanely busy with school and work and entertaining many, many rounds of houseguests, which has made blogging a challenge. But I’m back!
In the past couple of weeks, though I haven’t been writing and photographing for this space, I’ve still been keeping up with all of my cooking. I’ve posted a lot of my photos on Instagram (see here) and what’s funny about that particular photo-sharing platform is that some of the things I post explode on Instagram, quickly becoming crowd favorites.
Such was the case when I made these ricotta and herb stuffed squash blossoms last week for a “friend brunch” with two of my favorite friends who were visiting from San Francisco. I snapped a quick picture (before we devoured them all), posted a photo, and had a crazy number of comments and “likes” within minutes. Social media is so fun and weird in that way.
So I decided, for my return from my blog hiatus that I’d choose an IG crowd favorite and make these blossoms all over again. Don’t feel too bad for me for “having” to remake them…because 1) they’re incredibly simple to make and 2) they’re out-freaking-standing.
First the blossoms are stuffed with a creamy herbed ricotta cheese. You can use virtually any herbs you want, but I opted for basil and chives, which were a great balance of earthy and garlicky. They’re then bathed in a flour and club soda batter and plunged into piping hot oil until golden and crispy. If you can, try to restrain yourself from popping them into your mouth until you’ve hit them with a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt. It’s a critical component to creating these darling little gems.
By the way, I had two cute little critter faces staring at me when I first started shooting the blossoms. One you know by now; the other was just doing her part to pollinate when she unknowingly got swept up into my farmers market haul for the morning. Don’t worry, after photographing her, I set her free to do some more good pollinating work—I’m just glad I didn’t fry and eat her by accident!
Fried Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Squash Blossoms
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 15 ounces of ricotta (whole milk kind)
- 1 ounce of freshly grated parmesan (optional)
- 15-20 basil leaves, chopped
- 4-5 chives, chopped
- 10-15 zucchini blossoms
- ¾ cups of oat flour
- ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups of club soda (or beer!); plus more if necessary
- 2-3 cups of canola oil
- Fresh ground salt and pepper (pepper, optional)
Mix the salt, ricotta, parmesan (if using), basil, and chives in a bowl. Set aside and heat the oil in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
While oil is heating, open each blossom and, using your hands, gently stuff the cheese into the blossoms. Stop stuffing about half of an inch to the top and pinch the petals closed. Set stuffed blossoms aside.
In a bowl, mix together the flours and club soda until smooth. Start with 1 cup and add in more until you notice it is roughly the consistency of pancake batter. (I used approximately 1.25 cups.) Dip each blossom into the batter and, once oil is shimmery on the top (i.e., to frying temperature) transfer to the hot oil. It should bubble rapidly around the blossoms; if not, wait until the oil heats up before adding more. While frying, be sure not to crowd the blossoms. Instead, work in small batches so that they cook evenly and the temperature of the oil doesn’t drop too much.
Once golden, remove from oil, sprinkle with a flaky sea salt and enjoy hot!
If you’re at the market and you can be picky about your blossom choice, I’d look for ones that are in between being fully opened and still firm/straight. The slits from the flowers on these kind are about halfway down, perfect for stuffing.
Made too many blossoms than you could possibly eat? (Oh, poor you.) Freeze them in a Tupperware container separated by parchment paper. When ready to eat, transfer to a baking sheet and re-crisp in an oven at 325 degrees F until hot again, about 5-8 minutes.
If you don’t have oat flour, you can substitute with regular all purpose flour. Oat only gives it a bit more of a lighter feel.