Thursday, June 16, 2011

Squash Blossoms stuffed with cheese and basil

The first time I had squash blossoms was in Rome.  This is a very popular Italian delicacy.
I have never cooked them until now.  I can report that it is not difficult at all.

squash blossoms (between 8 and 2 dozen)
shredded cheese (I used a white cheddar)  approximately 1 cup for a dozen squash blossoms.
fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons (6-8 leaves per cup of cheese)
corn meal (1 cup) (add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix together well.
salt and pepper
1-2 eggs, beaten
cooking oil

Gently open the squash blossom part way to add the cheese mixture.  Shred cheese and slice basil leaves, mix together.  Place cornmeal in a shallow bowl and beaten eggs in another, preferably near stove.
Gently insert between 2 tsp and 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture into each blossom, and twist the petals  gently closed afterward.
In a wok or saute pan, add oil to cover bottom of pan about 1/2 inch.   Heat to medium-high temperature.
When oil is hot, quickly roll each squash in egg mixture, then corn meal, and place in the hot oil.  These delicate blossoms will cook quickly.  You will need to turn them when they begin to brown.  Once they are gently browned and look crispy, remove and drain.  Serve immediately.

partially opening the flower

adding cheese/basil mixture to the squash blossom

twisting the top to contain the cheese during cooking

roll the blossom in egg
then roll it in the cornmeal mixture
place in hot oil

turn to brown both sides


This is a great way to use some of your squash.  These make a very nice side dish or appetizer.
I believe the prep work up to the point of coating them in egg could be done hours in advance.
Enjoy!  Let me know if you try them.  

*I think these could be made with flour instead of cornmeal.  I prefer to minimize my use of wheat flour as much as possible when I cook.

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