Finally, I had them; soft, delicate and ready to eat, my first squash blossoms. Now, I usually like to try food before I attempt to make it but this, I knew, was going to be a success. I used the basis of a recipe I found in Epicurious, I tweaked it a little by substituting basil for the mint. I didn’t have a deep fry thermometer so I had to use my instincts, which taught me a very valuable lesson.
Another thing I used to save time and prevent a messy situation is a piping bag to fill the blossoms with the ricotta filling. When I pictured myself trying to gently spoon the filling into the blossoms, I could foresee a lot of cussing, ripped blossoms and a big mess. If you have a piping bag, this is an opportune time to get reacquainted with it.
I sincerely hope this recipe encourages you to try something new next time you run across it, you never know when you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Happy experimenting!
Fried Squash Blossoms with Basil Ricotta Filling
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta (preferably fresh)
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
6 large zucchini squash blossoms
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chilled seltzer or club soda
About 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
Stir together ricotta, yolk, basil, 1/3 cup parmesan, and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Carefully open each blossom and pipe in ricotta filling, gently twisting end of blossom to enclose filling. (You may have filling left over.)
Whisk together flour, remaining 1/3 cup parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and seltzer in a small bowl.
Heat 1/2 inch oil to 375°F in a 10-inch heavy skillet. Meanwhile, dip half of blossoms in batter to thinly coat. Fry coated blossoms, turning once, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain. Coat and fry remaining blossoms. (Return oil to 375°F between batches.) Season with salt.