With summer in full swing, so should be the gardens. If you do not have a garden, quickly become friends with someone who does and ask them to spare some squash blossoms. Tell them you’ll promise to delight them with a tasty meal, prefaced with this deliciously elegant appetizer. Frying anything in oil can be tricky as the temperature of the oil is the key to success. Don’t let that deter you. Be bold, take it a step further and make your own ricotta. You will not only impress yourself with this dish, but also your garden friend and anyone else you decide to invite to dinner that night.
1 lb. cherry tomatoes
Good quality olive oil
Fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
On a baking sheet, drizzle tomatoes with olive oil season with salt and pepper and scatter fresh thyme sprigs over top. Roast at 350 degrees until tomatoes are fragrant and starting to split, approximately 15-20 minutes. Cool and add to bowl of food processor along with 1 cup of oil, vinegar and fresh basil leaves. Process until smooth and season with salt and pepper.
1 cup ricotta
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs. freshly chopped mint
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Vegetable oil for frying
2 dozen blossoms, stamens removed
1 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. club soda
In a large pot, heat about 2” oil over medium heat until a deep fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Fill each blossom with about 1 Tablespoon of ricotta mixture and lightly twist the end to close. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt and soda until almost smooth. Over whisking will deflate the batter. One by one, dredge the blossoms in batter, shaking off excess and add to oil. Do not over crowd the pan. Cook, flipping once until golden in color, approximately 3 minutes total. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with vinaigrette. Enjoy!
Jamie Liphardt is a personal chef with Delicious HomeCooked Food in Bigfork.
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