Nothing says summer like the ability to dine on delectable flowers from the garden, yes, flowers from the garden. If you haven’t opted for flower dining before, now is the time as edible flowers, like the delicate blossoms that grow on the end of developing yellow squash and zucchini, are delicious, especially when stuffed with herbed goat cheese and flash-fried to a golden brown. Dive in and indulge. #Cheers
Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Herbed Goat Cheese
10-15 squash blossoms (This time of year these are often sold in packages as farmer’s markets and specialty food stores, but you can also ask your local grocer to bring them in for you. They are often unutilized, as the actual vegetable is what is normally harvested, so you should be able to find them quite affordable.)
4 ounces goat cheese, we like the garlic herb-infused goat cheese from Montchevre, but any brand will do.
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and salt
Vegetable or sunflower oil
Salt for seasoning at the end
Fresh chives, cilantro, or parsley for garnish
Wash the blossoms and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Carefully open the top of each blossom and remove the flower stamen from inside. With a small spoon scoop 1/4 ounce of cheese into the blossom where the stamen had been. Close the flower and set aside, filling all the blossoms before you begin to fry them. Add about 2 cups of oil to a medium-size sautee pan and set on the stove over medium heat. Add two eggs to a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and whisk lightly. Add 1 cup semolina flour to a small bowl and set aside. Begin to dredge each flower by carefully dipping each flour into the egg mixture, coating it on both sides. Then dip in the flour, coating it well, but shaking off any excess to keep it light. Set each aside. Dredge all the flowers before you start frying.
When the oil is hot (drop a bit of the flour in the oil to see if it fries easily) carefully begin frying, dropping a few flowers in the oil, making sure not to over-crowd the pan. When the blossoms are golden brown on one side, flip over using tongs and fry on the other until the entire blossom is golden brown. Remove from the oil and set each flower on paper towels, allowing them to drain slightly. Sprinkle with a touch of salt. Continue the process until all are complete.
Place on a platter and scatter with a touch of fresh herbs. Serve warm. (If you have more than two batches of flowers to fry, keep the finished blossoms in a warm oven until reach to serve.)
Pair with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre or Napa Valley, like Cuvaison, or an unoaked Chardonnay, like a fresh Chablis or Inox by Chehalem.