Deep Fried Squash Blossoms

Squash Blossoms

Every year I tell myself I’m going to do something with those beautiful pale yellow squash blossoms and every year I fail. When they sat right in front of me at a recent Bay Ridge Food Co-op distribution, I no longer had a way to ignore them. I went home with a dozen of the light puffs in hand, still no idea what to do with them. When posed to my twitter friends what to do, an overwhelming cry of “fry them!” came back. I’ve never really deep-fried anything. Beignets once when I was a child, but after the labor of making the dough, cutting, waiting for them to rise before I even got to the hot oil stage, I promised myself never again. But how much trouble could squash blossoms be? There’s not much dough involved and no yeast or rising. I picked up a bottle of canola oil on my way home and was ready for something new.

The amount of oil necessary to fry the blossoms seemed absurd and wasteful. It was only after the process that I learned frying oil could be reused if strained into a clean container and stored away. I knew I needed enough oil to pretty much submerge the blossoms. To reduce waste, I took the more time-consuming approach, something I never do. I fried my blossoms up in a small 1-quart skillet, just three at a time, that way I only needed about 2 cups of oil total. For my husband and I, this was fine. The first batch was still warm as the final batch finished up. It’s not something I would recommend if you’re serving a larger, hungrier group though.

The filling was basic, I didn’t know how the blossoms would turn out, so I didn’t want to splurge on fancy ingredients. Ricotta, mozzarella and basil is a classic blend. Next time I might go a bit sweeter, maybe goat cheese, diced figs and prosciutto. My first squash blossom attempt was a success. Crisp on the outside, like a light tempura, gooey and cheesy on the inside.

Fried Squash Blossoms

Ricotta & Mozzarella Stuffed Squash Blossoms

  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c water or ale
  • 12 squash blossoms
  • Canola oil for frying

Fill a small saucepan with about 1 1/2-inches of canola oil. Heat until very hot (about 350°F if you have a thermometer). In a medium bowl stir together ricotta, mozzarella, basil, a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and water or ale. You want the batter to be pretty thin, so it barely coats the back of a spoon. Add additional liquid if necessary.

Fill piping bag with cheese mixture. Carefully open the squash blossoms so you can pipe in about 2 tablespoons of filling. Close the blossoms and gently twist the top petals to close the blossom and hold the filling inside. Dip blossom into batter and shake off any excess. Drop into oil (in a 1-quart pan you can cook 2-3 at a time) and cook 3-4 minutes, turning so blossoms are uniformly browned. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve warm.

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10 comments on “Deep Fried Squash Blossoms

  1. I agree with the twitterverse, frying is the best way to enjoy squash blosssoms, I love deep frying but like you hate the idea of wasting the oil. I have never strained and re-used before. Not sure about that, is it safe?

  2. Emily Heath says:

    Interesting, I’ve seen these squash flowers in farmers markets but like you hadn’t known what to do with them!

    • Given, they look so pretty at the market, but not as pretty fried. I might need to figure out some raw recipes to preserve their beauty. Not sure if there are any blossoms left around here though. Next year…

  3. Fig & Quince says:

    Entirely new produce and idea to me. I’ve never seen these little squash flowers. Would you do it again? deep frying them I mean?

  4. Fig & Quince says:

    Urrrgh. WP ate my comment. Well maybe that’s not too bad since it is a food blog after all!

    I was saying I’ve never seen these in the market before. Interesting!
    Would you deep fry them again by the way?

    • haha, even food blogs can only handle so much! I’d definitely fry them again but get more creative. Maybe solo mozzarella for a fancy mozzarella stick. Or goat cheese with a sweeter filling like figs or maybe even jam. They were good, but I think the flavors could get way more out of the box. Sadly, haven’t seen any others at the market, so my plans might be on hold til next year.

  5. Now I’m eying up my squash blossoms!

  6. […] Deep Fried Squash Blossoms (bklynlocavore.com) […]

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