Battered Baby Zucchini with Ricotta-Stuffed Squash Blossoms
This recipe uses both the baby zucchini and the squash blossoms attached to it as well. Fun fact: the blossoms attached to the zucchini or baby squash are the female flowers, and the ones that are just the flower with the stem are male. While this recipe calls for the female blossoms it can also be made with the male – I just enjoy serving the baby zucchini that comes with the flowers as they provide for a little extra use of vegetables in the dish.
The delicate blossoms are stuffed with ricotta and lightly coated in a beef batter before being fried until the baby zucchini are tender and the squash blossoms stuffing is melty. Since squash blossoms are so fragile they go bad quickly – try to use them within a day or so of buying them.
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped basil leaves
12 baby zucchini with squash blossoms intact
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces pilsner or lager beer
Vegetable oil, as needed
In a medium bowl stir together the ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, chives and basil until combined. Add to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe the filling into the squash blossoms.
In a small bowl stir the flour together with salt and pepper. Whisk in the beer until combined.
Heat enough oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet to fill it 1½-inches of the way up. Heat the oil until reached 350º then gently dip the squash blossoms and baby zucchini in the batter. Fry on all sides until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Carefully use tongs to remove them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve immediately.