Recipe: Stuffed & Fried Squash Blossoms


serves 4 as a first course

8-10 large zucchini blossoms
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped basil
pinch finely minced lemon zest plus lemon wedges
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup seltzer water
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
grapeseed or vegetable oil for frying
halved grape tomatoes and arugula leaves, optional

1. Carefully open each blossom, remove stamen and check for bugs. It's not a big deal if you tear them up a little, just try to keep them in one piece. Gently brush off any dirt or give a gentle rinse.
2. Combine ricotta, basil, and lemon zest in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to small plastic baggie, cut 1/4-inch off one corner to use as a tip. Pipe about 1 tablespoon ricotta filling into each blossom. Gently twist petals to close.
3. Fill a large straight-sided frying pan with about 2-inches of oil. Heat over medium heat, you'll know it's ready when a drip of the batter quickly fries up golden. Combine flour, baking soda, and a pinch of salt in medium bowl. Stir in seltzer until a thin batter forms. Dip each blossom into batter, then transfer to hot oil. Fry until golden, flipping occasionally, about 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Since you have the batter and the oil, you might as well fry up some other stuff too, like grape tomatoes or arugula leaves.
4. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of salt and squeeze of lemon.


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