Another reason to love fresh flowers.
When we think of zucchini recipes, we usually think of something involving the squash itself: zucchini bread, sautéed zucchini, baked zucchini . . . you get the idea. But my favorite zucchini recipe does not involve the squash at all. It is fried stuffed squash blossoms, filled with mozzarella and ricotta, then batter dipped and fried.
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How to Clean, Prepare and Store Fresh Squash Blossoms
- If you are lucky enough to find these at the farmers market or maybe in your own back yard from thinning your zucchini crop, congratulations! Be gentle. They are delicate.
- I really don’t clean them in the traditional rinse-under-water sense. I just pick them over for bugs or dirt, and gently rinse them and pat them dry with a paper towel as necessary.
- Store them, covered, in the fridge if you must. But they will wilt fairly quickly, so try to use them within a day or two.
- The flower is the only edible part of the squash blossom. So remove the stamen or pistal from the center, and trim the stems. Like shishito peppers, I like to leave about an inch of stem on, though, for grabbing purposes.
Recipes Notes: Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms
This recipe, while relatively straightforward with not much active time, does require some chilling and resting time, so plan accordingly. The batter should be made at least 30 minutes or up to two days in advance, so that it can thicken slightly. Refrigerate and re-whisk the batter before you use it.
It is important to chill the stuffed zucchini blossoms before dipping and frying them. This makes them much easier to work with, and helps prevent the precious cheese filling from oozing out in the frying process.
Serve these fresh and very warm with some fresh lemon juice. Like all fried foods, they will begin to toughen the longer they sit.
Did you make this recipe for fried stuffed squash blossoms? How did it go?
Fried Sutffed Zucchini Blossoms
- 12 zucchini blossoms (preferably medium or large)
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup (2 1/2 ounces) low-moisture mozzarella, cut into a small dice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf Italian parsley, minced
- neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, for frying
- lemon wedges, to garnish
For the Batter
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup white wine, prosecco, or seltzer (water can be substituted in a pinch, in addition to below)
- ⅔ cup cold water
For the Batter
- Whisk all of the liquid ingredients and the egg together in a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Let rest for about 30 minutes. The consistency should be like heavy cream. Adjust as necessary.
For the Zucchini Blossoms and to Finish
- Mix the ricotta, mozzarella, salt, and parsley together in a bowl.
- Prepare the flowers. Remove the stamen or pistal from the center of the blossom, and trim the stems to about 1 inch long. Make sure there are no bugs or dirt on the blossoms.
- Peeling back one flower petal or separating the petals as little as possible, spoon anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the flower, depending on its size. Do not overstuff. Twist the petals closed at the top. Repeat with the rest of the flowers, and let chill for one hour, or overnight, loosely covered in plastic wrap.TIP: The blossoms need to be chilled to firm up the cheese. This helps prevent the filling from leaking out during the cooking process.
- Line up the stuffed zucchini blossoms, the batter (you may need to re-whisk it), a large skillet, and a paper towel-lined tray or dish.
- Heat enough oil in the skillet to come halfway up the side of the zucchini blossoms, about 1/4" or so. The oil should be about 350°F. It will shimmer, but should not smoke. You will know it will be hot enough when a little batter dropped into the oil sizzles.
- Holding each blossom by the stem, dip each blossom in batter, then add to the hot skillet. Make sure the blossoms are fully coated to help prevent cheese from leaking out. Keep dipping and adding stuffed blossoms to the skillet. Do not crowd the skillet; you will probably have to dip and fry in several batches.
- Gently turn each blossom halfway, when the bottoms are golden brown, several minutes per side. Adjust heat as necessary to prevent the oil from smoking or the blossoms from blackening.
- Remove the fried blossoms with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper towels.
- Serve hot with wedges of lemon.
Linda Miller says
I’ve been eating squash flower blossoms for the last 40 years. Never heard of Removing the stamen. My mother would chop up the entire blossom put them in a batter and fry them up like little Pizzelles. It was only when I was on my own, married and far away from mom that I started experimenting with stuffed fried squash blossoms. Again never removed the stamen, especially from the female blossoms which have a much bigger one. Can you explain to me why the stamen might not be good to eat? Thanks for your recipe. Always looking for a new batter to use. Most of the time a good tempura batter is what is best.
Hi, Linda. Thank you so much for this comment. I love that you referenced Pizzelles–my favorite around the holidays. They always remind me of my grandmother. You are completely correct that the stamen and pistals are edible. I remove them in this recipe for the sole reason that it I find it a lot easier to stuff the blossoms with cheese, and you get more cheese in there as well. (More cheese is practically my life’s motto.) I hope you enjoy, and thanks so much for this comment!
Worked out great!!
Such a good recipe. I went a step further and added a little chopped prosciutto in with the cheese mixture, as I have had them this way before, and it was delicious.
Oh wow — what a great addition!! Glad you loved them.
We ate them all in about 5 minutes…sooooo good. Could you dip them in marinara? Thanks!
These taste just like the ones I get at a restaurant sometimes. I never thought of making these myself, but it went great.