It’s the height of summer and the Davis farmer’s market is bursting with produce. I went there this morning and loaded up on green beans, corn, celery, Meyer lemons, and was really excited to see squash blossoms! They were kind of wilted (I got there just before closing), but they called to me from their box, just begging to be bought. The guy cut me a deal (12 for $1.00 = half off, crazy right?) and I walked away smiling. I have a recipe I put in my personal recipe book last year, right around when I first started it, for fried stuffed zucchini blossoms (1) that I never got to try because the season for vegetable blossoms ended so quickly. It’s an Italian appetizer and right after snapping the shot above, me and the guys gobbled each and every fried blossom down.
To begin, you’ll need squash blossoms, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, salt, flour, baking powder, seltzer water, and oil for frying. Gently wash the blossoms and remove the pistils.
Slice the mozzarella into 1/4" wide pieces a little bit shorter than the length of the blossoms. Pick one basil leaf per flower. Roll a piece of mozzarella in a basil leaf and stuff into a blossom.
Gently twist the ends of the flower to close. Repeat until all of the blossoms have been stuffed. Pour about 1" of vegetable oil into a pan and set over medium high heat. Prepare the batter by mixing together 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp baking powder. Slowly whisk in 3/4 cup seltzer water to make a thin crepe-like batter. Test the heat of the oil by dripping a bit of the batter into the pan. When the batter immediately begins to bubble up, the oil is hot enough. Turn the hit down a smidge to maintain temperature without scorching the blossoms. Using two forks, dip a stuffed blossom into the batter and completely coat it. Transfer to the pan. Repeat until the pan is full, but not overly crowded.
Allow the blossoms to fry, turning occasionally, until slightly browned and the cheese starts to melt (3 ~ 4 minutes). Using a slotted spoon or small spider, transfer the blossoms to a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all blossoms have been fried. Serve hot and enjoy!
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
- 12 squash blossoms, pistils removed
- 12 1/4"-wide pieces of fresh mozzarella
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup seltzer water
- vegetable oil for frying
Carefully rinse the blossoms. Stuff each one with a mozzarella piece wrapped in a basil leaf. Gently twist the tips of the petals to close. Place about 1" of oil in a pan over medium high heat. In a small bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly whisk in the seltzer water. Test the heat of the oil by dropping in a bit of batter to see if it sizzles. Turn the heat down a smidge to maintain temperature. Using two forks, dip a stuffed blossom into the batter and transfer to the hot oil. Repeat until the pan is full, but not overly crowded. Allow the blossoms to cook, turning occasionally, for 3 ~ 4 minutes or until they become slightly brown and the cheese melts. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the blossoms to a plate lined with paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all blossoms have been cooked. Serve hot and enjoy!