One of my favorite treats from the garden are stuffed squash blossoms. Pumpkin, crookneck, zucchini…I’m not picky. I over plant my space each year knowing I will excitedly strip the bushes bare so I can transform the papery flowers into gooey, breaded luxury.
Squash blossoms are the yellow flowers that grow along with zucchini and other squash. Popular in Latin cuisine they are edible and delicate, having a subtle flavor when enjoyed on their own. Stuffed they become (in my opinion) food for the gods.
Both the male and female blossoms of winter and summer squash varieties can be used to make this treat. It’s a matter of personal preference. The male blossoms appear at the end of thin stems and can be harvested without effecting the production of the seasons squash. If using male squash blossoms, be sure to remove the stamens first. The female blossoms form at the end of the buds that grow into squash and are often harvested with the tiny, nascent squash still attached. Theeese are my favorite.
Because of their delicate nature, squash blossoms are not easily stored so it’s rare to find them in a grocery setting. If you are not in the position to grow your own, you may be able to find this delicacy at your local farmer’s market during the hot summer months when squash plants are in full production.
For the best results, plan on using blossoms immediately after being cut, or the day of purchase. If you are going to try and store your blossoms before using, I would suggest rinsing them, letting them air dry on the kitchen counter, then wrapping them in paper towels, carefully nesting them in a sealed storage container, and refrigerating them in the crisper at a controlled 34 degrees (then cross your fingers, hop backwards three times and chant your favorite blessing just to be safe).
Most stuffed recipes call for frying (and they are absolutely wonderful prepared that way) but for health reasons as well as ease (I’m told one shouldn’t fry things everyday) I usually stuff my blossoms with a ricotta & herb mixture, roll in bread crumbs and bake just enough to melt and crisp.
Baked Stuffed Squash Blossoms
- 1 cup ricotta (for the love of texture & taste don’t use skim)
- 3 eggs, divided
- ⅓ cup chopped herbs (your preference I happen to like basil or parsley)
- 12 squash blossoms
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Mix together ricotta, 1 lightly beaten egg, and herbs. Season with salt.
- Put the remaining 2 eggs in a bowl and whisk. Combining the breadcrumbs and cheese in a second bowl.
- Carefully spoon filling into each squash blossom and twist loosely at the end to close.
- Dip each stuffed squash blossom in egg, then breadcrumb mixture, and transfer to a parchment or tin foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy.
- Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Recipe makes 12 appetizer servings
I like them just as they are, right out of the oven and oozing. Served with a side salad and a crisp wine. You can also serve with a spicy tomato sauce or a little lemon for some added punch.