I have been travelling and/or busy on farmers market days this summer, so I have sadly not been able to partake of all the available goodies very often. I did manage a visit last week, though, and I couldn't have been happier to see squash blossoms welcoming me.
I've been fairly obsessed with squash blossoms since I spent a summer in Italy. There was this fancy pizza restaurant/inn in the next town over, and they made a killer fritti misti plate, with all types of fried goodies. The best things on the plate, though, were the sage leaves and the squash blossoms - so delicate and crisp, it was like eating delicious air. Squash blossoms can be a little hard to find in the states, though, and at one point, I was almost resigned to ordered a whole box of them from a local farm (although how my family could have eaten that box before it went bad was beyond me). One summer, I convinced my father to plate extra zucchini plants so I could steal flowers whenever I wanted.
But now, I can count on seeing squash blossoms at least a couple of times a summer at the Hmong booth at the weekly market. Hell, they might have them every week, but I tend to go later in the day, so they might be sold out. And every time I see them there, I practically jump up and down with joy.
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
12 squash blossoms
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup crumbled feta, or about 4 ounces
1/4 finely chopped parsley, or about 2 large handfuls of leaves
zest of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 grated parmesan cheese
Blossom cleaning tips: Before using the squash blossoms, gently open them up (which means you may need to rip a small tear down one side)and pry out the stamen using your fingers or a small knife. Then submerge the flowers in cool water while you prepare the filling so any dirt will rinse off.
Mix together ricotta, feta, parsley, and lemon zest until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Gently place a spoonful of filling in each blossom, closing the flower around the filling and lightly pressing closed. Fill all the blossoms before beginning to fry.
Add olive oil to a large pan, about enough to cover the bottom, and heat over medium heat. Once oil is heated through, dunk the blossoms in egg, and then in the flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour before adding to the pan. Flip flowers over after they have browned. These cook quickly, so pay close attention! Serve immediately.