Fried Squash Blossoms (Cucurbita) are a delicious way to start a meal. In Italy, fried zucchini blossoms (Cucurbita pepo) are a relatively common starter during the spring and summer months. Yesterday at the market there was a bumpercrop of kalabasa blossoms for sale so I bought a bunch and my wife made her favorite fried kalabasa blossoms stuffed with mozzarella, anchovies and capers. The recipe is easy, quick and totally scrumptious. Squash blossoms are more than just good to look at, they are fleshy, flavorful vegetables that pair well with strongly flavored ingredients. Generally the male squash blossoms are the ones picked and sold in markets. The females are left on the vines to develop into fruit. Squash blossoms have been added to vegetable stir-fries, risotto, egg based dishes, etc. However, fried squash blossoms is the recipe that we keep coming back to again and again.
To make. Purchase 1-2 bunches of squash blossoms (allow 3-5 blossoms per person as an appetizer, remember to pick the blossoms and throw out damaged or squashed squash blossoms…). Make your dish within a day of buying the blossoms. Carefully remove the pistils from the blossoms, wash the flowers in cold water and dry carefully. Check for bugs. Stuff the cavity of the blossom with some chopped mozzarella, chopped anchovies and scant chopped capers. Do not overstuff or they will explode when fried. Gently twist the ends of the petals closed to seal in the stuffing. Make a simple batter with the following proportions – for every cup of water add one cup of sifted all purpose flour and a pinch or two of salt. Heat up vegetable oil in a frying pan and when hot, carefully dip the squash blossoms in the batter and slip into the oil. Cook until golden and crisp. Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately. Squash blossoms can also be stuffed with ground meat, shrimp, etc.