So today we are talking about deep fried flowers.
When I was in Houston for a mini-summer break, my mom and I hit up one of the Farmer’s market. We saw lots of great produce (anyone ever heard of dragon beans- very tasty even when raw!), but I knew when I saw these squash blossoms that I had to buy them, fry them, and devour them.
I made these on Memorial day as a pre-dinner appetizer to tide us over as we smoked ribs and a turkey. Then we filled our plates with smoked meat, some more squash blossoms, and corn spoonbread. It was a very good day.
While flowers are known for their beauty, their looks seem to go to the wayside when they are stuffed with ricotta, dipped in a tempura batter, and deep fried. Or perhaps we should say they become beautiful in a new way because you know from that golden crisp interior that your mouth is in for a big treat. The cheesy interior balances the subtle squash taste, and the crunchy tempura batter is out of this world.
Whoever thought to take a flower and deep fry it is a genius.
FRIED SQUASH BLOSSOMS
From Cinnamon Freud
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
12-14 squash blossoms
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup cold soda water
Vegetable oil, for frying
Salt, for seasoning
In a bowl combine ricotta, lemon juice, lemon zest, and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Carefully stuff squash blossoms with ricotta filling. Set aside.
Heat oil to 375-400°F. In a large bowl combine flour, cornstarch, and kosher salt. When oil is ready for frying, stir in cold soda water. Work in batches, dip the squash blossoms in batter, cover completely, and let excess drip off. Fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt if desired. Repeat with remaining squash blossoms.
Serves 2-3 as an appetizer.