Fried Squash Blossoms with Garlic-Cheese Filling
These fried squash blossoms, stuffed with a garlic-cream cheese filling, were exquisite, mouthwatering, unbelievable. With their crisp masa harina batter, they were my first taste of this fragile delicacy. Fresh from this morning's farmers market and cooked for lunch, this dish really had a California gourmet taste.
The squash blossoms, or zucchini blossoms, are literally the beautiful orange flowers of the zucchini or other small squash plants.
They have a very light zucchini-like taste. I had never heard of squash blossoms until I went to Coco 500, where they had a Squash Blossom Flatbread with truffle oil, creme fraiche, and sea salt on the menu. I didn't try their pizza, but was intrigued by the main ingredient. So when I saw a lovely basket of squash blossoms at the farmers market ($4), I couldn't wait to try them. Which is lucky, because squash blossoms really need to be used as soon after they're harvested as possible or they go bad.
I followed this recipe by Laurel Miller, except for the filling, I simply mixed cream cheese with a minced garlic clove and some chopped chives and oregano from the garden. I also fried several just with the masa harina batter and left out the cheesy filling. These were also delicious and really allow you to appreciate the blossom's subtle flavor.
I might try a light, smoky chile cheese filling next time. Dipping the fried blossoms in salsa balanced out the richness of cheese and batter perfectly.