STUFFED SQUASH BLOSSOMS

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This amazing recipe was shared by my friend Sabrina (@sabrinagaza). The squash blossoms are beautiful and so delicious. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 10-12 Squash blossoms
  • 1 packet (8 oz) of vegan ricotta (I used Kite Hill for this)
  • 2 stalks of green onion, finely minced
  • 1 cup of basil or any fresh herb you want to use, chopped
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup seltzer water
  • An icing piping bag with a bigger round nozzle to fill the flowers with cheese (a teaspoon will do too, if you don't have this)
  • Coconut oil, enough to cover up 1/4 inch of your pan 
  • Ingredients for your favorite salad (I kept mine simple- cherry tomatoes, spinach, pumpkin seeds, brown rice. I made a sweeter dressing to compliment the tartness of the ricotta but feel free to use any dressing you want.) 

INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD DRESSING

  • Half lemon
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp agave or any sweetener 
  • Salt/ pepper to taste

PROCESS TO PREPARE BLOSSOMS

  1. You will need to chop off the stems and the little green attachments at the bottom. Be very careful, you don't just want to chop off the bottom of the flower because you need a "floor" to keep all the stuffing in.
  2. Next, gently reach inside the flower and break off the pistil (it's the yellow stem like attachment inside). Be very gentle as the petals are delicate and tear easily. 
  3. Dip the flowers in water and rinse them very gently, getting rid of any insects and dirt.
  4. Lay them out on a towel and allow them to dry completely. Shaking them off gently helps too. 

PROCESS TO PREPARE STUFFING

  1. In a bowl, mix the vegan ricotta, green onion and herbs. 
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Put everything into the icing piping bag. 
  4. Squeeze the stuffing into the blossom, fill only up to about 1 inch of the flower (there are smaller varieties of the blossom, so just gauge the amount of stuffing based on its size). 
  5. Twist the petals to seal in the stuffing. Don't worry if they unravel a bit, you can use the batter to reinforce that later.
  6. Prepare your frying pan with oil. Make sure you cover up to about 1/4 an inch with oil. Turn the heat on medium high and let that start heating up. You want to get the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you don't have a thermometer, give it about 5 minutes on medium heat. 
  7. In a bowl, mix the flour and the seltzer water. This fizzy mixture will make a light, crispy coating for the flowers. 
  8. If you don't have a thermometer for the oil, test if it's ready by dropping a small speck of the batter into it. If the oil sizzles around the batter, it's ready. If not, wait another minute or two and repeat until it gets there. 
  9. Dip the flowers into the batter. I like holding the flower horizontally and rolling it around, while holding both ends, so the stuffing doesn't spill out. You want to cover the flower with a thin layer because it lets the bloom show through the shell even when you fry it. It's also crispier this way. I dipped, rolled and wiped off the excess batter with my fingers, reinforcing the twirl at the end as I did this. 
  10. Carefully drop the flower into the oil, let it fry for about a minute or until the side is golden brown before rolling it around. Try not to crowd the pan too much, this will make the oil cool down and your blossoms won't fry properly. This will vary depending on the size of your pan, so you can monitor the temperature with your thermometer or fry the blossoms in batches. 
  11. After frying, put the blossoms on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the oil. You can prepare the salad as you let them settle a bit. 
  12. Prepare the salad, top with the blossoms and serve! 
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