Fried Squash Blossoms with Mint and Goat Cheese
Yield: 4 to 6 | Total time: 20 min
It's that time of year again and I find myself stalking the markets looking for the delicate flowers of summer squash. I've updated a recipe from last summer. Here, the flowers are stuffed with basil, mint and cheese, then lightly fried in a batter with the addition of egg. Serve with a green salad or a fresh tomato sauce.
For the blossoms:
- 14 to 16 large zucchini squash blossoms
- 3/4 cup/6 ounces fresh soft goat cheese or whole-milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup/4 ounces mascarpone or crème fraîche
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint and basil, plus more for garnish
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
For the Batter and Frying:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- About 1/2 cup chilled seltzer or other unflavored sparkling water
- About 3/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying
- Optional: fresh tomato sauce, for serving
- Carefully open each blossom and remove stamen; set aside.
- Combine goat cheese (or ricotta) with mascarpone (or crème fraîche) and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Stir in mint and basil and season with salt and pepper. Gently stuff blossoms with cheese-herb mixture, twisting end of blossom to close. NOTE: You might have some cheese mixture leftover; if so, stir into a pasta sauce or spread on toast and eat with tomatoes.
- Make batter by combining flour, cornstarch, and baking powder with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Whisk in beaten egg and sparkling water, adding a bit at a time, until batter is well-combined and is the consistency of heavy cream or a loose pancake batter.
- Pour oil to about a half inch into a large (10-inch) heavy skillet and heat to about 365° (or until oil begins to shimmer but not smoke; add a bit of batter to test oil. The batter should bubble and float). Fry blossoms, in two batches, if necessary, turning over once until golden, about 2 minutes total time. Place on a paper-towel-lined cooling rack or plate. Sprinkle while hot with a bit of Parmesan or salt, such as Maldon or other finishing salt.
- If serving with sauce, spoon some fresh tomato sauce on bottom of plate and top with squash blossoms. Eat at once.
*To prepare blossoms, gently open the blossom (they might tear, but that's OK) and pull out. Rinse gently and place in a paper towel-lined colander. Pat dry.
Date Published: July 19, 2014
All recipes have been tested by the KimSunée.com Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.