I imagine that every Spring, people eagerly prep their Summer gardens and along with the tomatoes and fava beans, exist tangled vines of zucchini and yellow squash. I also imagine that the first and last items people consume from that garden will be zucchini cooked 3 ways. As satisfying as they can be to watch grow, and grow, and grow, there is only so much squash one can eat creatively. The real payoff here are the edible blossoms that grow at the tip of the squash awaiting pollination. Stuffed with herbed ricotta, dredged in flour and egg whites and deep-fried, these are a peak season delicacy.
for the squash blossoms
8-10 zucchini blossoms
2/3 cup ricotta
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley, thyme, oregano)
1 shallot, fine dice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 egg white, whipped
oil for frying (we used peanut)
1. In a medium bowl, mix the cheese, shallots, herbs, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper. Open each blossom enough to spoon in a tablespoon of filling. When they are filled, twist the tops closed tightly. Place in the freezer while oil is heating.
2. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan filled with 1/4 inch of oil over medium-high heat. When droplets of water flicked into the oil sizzle upon impact, it is hot enough to begin frying. Turn the heat down to medium.
3. Prepare the batter; mix the flour, salt, pepper. Separately, whip the egg white to a light froth.
4. Cover each blossom in the flour turning it from side to side to ensure that all surfaces are covered equally. Tap off any excess flour. Gently place each blossom in the egg white and into the hot oil. Fry without turning for about 90 seconds, until golden brown and crispy on the frying side. Rotate each blossom and fry each side until similarly golden. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain off excess oil. Season while still hot.