Blooming in Flavor

For a seasonal treat, making squash blossoms with cheeses is worth the effort


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Chef Jeff Condit, of Northville’s Kitchen Sync at Wine Sync, says this recipe is a little tricky for the home cook. But since squash blossoms are around only for a short time, it’s worth trying once a year. “Buy organic blossoms, and look for similar sizes so they cook evenly, preferably with stems attached; they make a good handle,” he says. The blossoms may be eaten right away as they are, but they can also be served warm over a cool salad as a first course.

 

 

 

> Rack of Spring Lamb with Honey and Lavender

  • 12 squash blossoms
  • 8 ounces ricotta
  • 6 ounces chèvre
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated
  • 4 ounces fontina, grated
  • 2/3 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable oil

> Batter

  • tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable oil

 

Soak blossoms in cold water for at least 10 minutes. Gently open petals and rinse inside of flowers. Dry on paper towels while mixing cheeses in bowl. Chop seasonal herbs. (Chives, parsley, chervil, and basil are all great. Be careful with rosemary, thyme, oregano, and other hard herbs, which are too assertive for this recipe.)

Sauté garlic in oil until lightly colored, then add pepper flakes. Remove from heat immediately and let cool. Add to cheese mixture, stirring to combine. Taste. Stuff blossoms with 1-2 teaspoons of filling. Do not overstuff, or they may leak. Press outer leaves around filling to shape them, and press out any air. Make sure petals completely cover the filling.

Lay blossoms on a cookie sheet, and place in the freezer. If leaving them more than one hour, cover with plastic wrap.
 

Combine batter ingredients and stir. (The mixture should resemble thin pancake batter; add water if necessary.)
Heat vegetable oil in a large pot to 325 degrees. Make sure not to overfill, because oil will rise when blossoms are added.
Remove blossoms from freezer and roll in flour.

Shake off excess, and dip into batter. Once you have six battered blossoms, transfer them to the vegetable oil, being careful to dredge off excess batter on the side of the bowl.

Fry 3-4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.Repeat frying steps with remaining blossoms. Serve immediately.

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