Let’s just get this out of the way from the start. Frying is a pain in the butt. The house smells like KFC, nearly every part of the kitchen becomes greasy, it’s kind of dangerous, and after all is said and done, you have to deal with a huge amount of used oil. It’s my least favorite thing to do in the kitchen, and yet I wind up looking forward to it every year for squash blossoms.
Why? Because it’s the best way to consume these delicate flowers. The crispy coating, creamy filling, and tender flower is the ultimate Spring appetizer. Though you can occasionally stumble upon them at restaurants, I think they’re best when made at home and consumed immediately.
The blossoms themselves can be finicky to prep and they're the easiest to work with when extremely fresh— as in the day you buy them (or pick them, if you’re lucky enough to have a garden). The longer they hang around, the harder it is to peel the petals apart to remove the stamens and stuff them with a filling. As long as the blossoms are fresh, and you’re patient, these blossoms will become your go-to crispy, crunchy, salty spring snack. And believe me, you’ll happily put up with splattering oil and a house that smells like fried chicken.
ricotta and herb stuffed squash blossoms
makes 2 dozen squash blossoms | recipe loosely adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup club soda
1 tsp kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 cup ricotta
3 green onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped (or a combination of other fresh herbs, like cilantro or basil)
freshly ground black pepper
24 squash blossoms
vegetable oil, for frying
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sparkling water and salt until smooth. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the ricotta, green onions, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Carefully open the squash blossoms and remove the stamen (this is easiest if the blossoms are really fresh). Using a spoon, fill each blossom with about 1 tbsp of the ricotta mixture. Close the blossoms and gently twist the flower to seal in the filling.
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted into the oil reaches 350°F.
Dip the stuffed zucchini blossoms in the batter, letting any excess batter drip off. Fry in batches, for 1 to 2 minutes each, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Make sure oil returns to 350°F before frying the next batch. Allow the cooked blossoms to drain on paper towels. Season with salt and serve with your favorite marinara sauce or vinaigrette.