Squash Blossom Serenade

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I’ve always been afraid of squash blossoms. I knew you could cook them–stuff them with cheese and fry them–but somehow that seemed difficult. Plus you have to search inside each flower for bugs and who wants to take a chance that you might miss one? “No thank you,” I used to say to myself. “No squash blossoms for me.”

But then on Saturday at the farmer’s market I’d purchased the obligatory heirloom tomatoes for an heirloom tomato salad when I passed $5 packages of squash blossoms at the stand near the subway stop. They called to me and this time I didn’t run away in fear: I purchased a box and brought them home. And boy am I glad I did, as you will soon learn…

This recipe is a composite of several recipes so I suppose you can say this is a recipe I created myself and if you said that I wouldn’t correct you. It’s super easy and actually super fun. Here’s what you do:

Open your package of squash blossoms and gently open the flowers and look for bugs. If you don’t see any set them aside.

Then take goat cheese–I bought a Coach Farm round (I forget how many ounces but it was just a normal looking round of goat cheese)–and add olive oil, salt, pepper, some parmesan and red chile flakes and mix up with a fork or a whisk until it’s smooth enough to stuff into the squash blossoms, but not so runny that they’ll leak out everywhere. Here’s what mine looked like:

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Now’s the fun part. Take a Ziplock bag, put a piping tip in the corner of it and cut the corner off (or, if you don’t have a piping tip, I bet you can just use the bag); fill the bag with the filling and pump about 1 Tbs (or less) of the filling into each squash blossom. Then twist the blossom closed and lay them out until you’ve finished them all.

Now take an egg, beat it in a bowl; and dip each blossom in the egg. Then put flour, salt and pepper in pie plate and roll the egg-dipped blossoms in the flour, shake off. Heat olive oil in a skillet–a solid layer of olive oil–til it’s smoking and really hot and drop the squash blossoms in:

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Cook until brown on all sides, then remove to paper towels and sprinkle with salt. And that’s it!

I served it with my heirloom tomato salad and Diana and I both agreed it was an excellent dinner. What made it even more excellent were the biscuits I made as a quasi-dessert. Summer food doesn’t get more summery.

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