Delicious Fried Squash Blossoms with Fontina
Taking away the flowers of some plants makes them stronger and happier. Basil, for instance, will branch and provide you with much more pesto fodder if you make sure it never blooms. However, when we take away a zucchini blossom to stuff, fry, and eat, will it mean more zucchini to harvest and leave anonymously on neighbours’ doorsteps? Or do we risk getting no fruits from the vine if we pluck the flowers? I needed to ask a farmer.
While I was waiting for the answer, I cooked up this batch of fried squash blossoms stuffed with fontina cheese and anchovies. The trick with squash blossoms (also called zucchini flowers) is that they are time-sensitive and delicate. When you see these beauties in your local farmer’s market, buy them and use them as soon as possible for the best results.
Fried Squash Blossoms
- 12 Squash Blossoms
- 12 small batons Fontina or other melting cheese 1/4-inch by 1-inch
- 4 Anchovies each cut crosswise into 3 pieces
- 1/2 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Water
- Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
- Sea Salt
- Wash the squash blossoms thoroughly in cold water, drain, and pat dry gently.
- Using either a sharp paring knife or kitchen scissors, cut out the stamen, taking care not to tear the blossom.
- Stuff each blossom with a piece of cheese and a piece of anchovy. Close and gently twist the end of the blossom.
- In a large flat bowl, whisk together the flour and water until you have a very thin batter — similar to crêpe batter. If it is too thick, add more water; conversely, if it’s too thin, add some more flour.
- Prepare a large dinner plate for draining the blossoms by covering it with a triple thickness of paper towels. Set the plate beside the stove (but not too close to the burner!).
- Place an equal amount of olive and canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat — about 3/4-inch deep. The oil will be hot enough when a drop of batter sizzles as soon as it hits the oil.
- When the oil is ready, dip the blossoms in the batter and turn to coat. Carefully place them in the oil begin careful not to let them touch one another. Depending on the size of your skillet, you will want to fry 4-6 at a time. Fry until golden on one side; turn and cook the other side. Remove from the pan and place the cooked blossoms on the paper towels to drain; sprinkle immediately with sea salt. Repeat with the remaining blossoms.