Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Fried Squash Blossoms


Oooh, la-la. And I do mean La-LA! If there is anything in this life more delicious than deep fried food, well, I am at a loss as to what that could be. Sure, the strawberries I am eating right now are natural perfection, but in the world of cooking, deep-fried is the way to go. Sigh.

Here I am typing away and wistfully staring at the photos of food-gone-by, wishing there were a way to bring the night back, (minus the part where we threw pebbles at the Ombudsman’s darkened window for 15 minutes, to the chagrin of his neighbors. Oops.) the way we laughed and ate with such abandon.

But I am ahead of myself…

I was at the gloriously abundant Hollywood Farmers market bright and early Sunday, and I bought some squash blossoms. What an amazing, delicate thing they are. Flowers big enough to fill with any random assortment of savories, and then, oh yes, then they are deep-fried.

I fed this delight to my dear, dear friend who has been referred to on this site as Ms. McGee, along with my typical bizarre assortment of vittles. (Pot stickers, a plate of radishes and some smoked nuts. Mmm. Smokey.) And it was good. Oh yes, it was. The blossoms were delicate and crispy, salty, flavorful and the ultimate paring for the merlot we drank (perhaps too much of?). And lemme just say this about that woman, lordy, she is a funny, funny girl and the best kind of friend. She never balks at a coffee table groaning under the weight of plate after plate of food.

But back to the blossoms. Dealing with the flowers is a little bit like playing Operation. They need to be handled with the gentlest touch, the petals pried open just so, the pistils removed, and stuffed (not too much kiddies, just a bit) a quick twist and into the batter they go. When they emerge, golden brown and bursting with flavor. Oh peaches, you really must make some today. I went for a Mediterranean mixture, but the filling, as long as its flavorful, is extremely flexible and open to options. Try this, and enjoy!

16 squash blossoms (squash attached or not, your choice)
¼ cup ricotta cheese
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon capers
pinch of chile flakes
¼ cup green olives
1 anchovy filet
assorted minced herbs (I used mint)
Pine nuts to taste
1 egg
¼ cup corn starch
¼ cup flour
cold water or beer
(For a vegan version, use tofu instead of the cheese, and omit the egg)

in a large bowl, stir together the corn starch, flour and water/beer, until it is a slightly thin batter. Set aside for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Mince the garlic, capers, olives, herbs, pine nuts and anchovy together. Mix with the cheese and taste. Adjust the seasoning, then stir in the egg.

Stuff the blossoms, twist to seal (I know, it sounds like they won’t seal, but they are sticky flowers and it works.) and set aside. You can make them up to four hours in advance.

Heat vegetable oil (about 1 ½ inch depth) over medium high heat. Dip the stuffed blossoms into the batter and gently lower into the oil. After 2 minutes turn and continue to fry. They will take about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, sprinkle with coarse salt and serve.


Squash blossoms come in varying shades of yellow and orange, with flavors that hint of the squash itself. They can be found from late spring through early fall in specialty produce markets. Squash blossoms are naturally soft and somewhat limp, but choose those that look fresh, with closed buds. They're extremely perishable and should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than a day.

Ricotta - Traditional, creamery, whey cheese made from cow's milk.

Grey Poupon mustard was named for Grey and Auguste Poupon. Grey invented a device that made mass production of fine-textured mustard possible. He joined forces with established mustard-maker Auguste Poupon around 1886, forming the Grey-Poupon firm.

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Love it. Took no time to load up. It would be nice if it was a little bigger but it looks good as is if you can't make it that way!
Strawberries may be natural perfection, but try deep-frying them really quickly the same way, serving them with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar ;-) Unnatural perfection, oh yeah!
I agree with you on all counts! Fried zucchini blossoms are the highlight of the growing season. Lovely post!
those look amazing. I have never made them.
The squash blossoms look amazing. I have never made them, but now I am inspired. A little deep frying has never gone amiss in my kitchen!
love the photos!
So did you fry the attached courgette with its blossom? Looks like...? I hve only ever had the blossoms on their own before.
Sam - I did include the "courgette," they were attached after all, and I couldn't see any reason not too.
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