My parents have the loveliest of lovely gardens in their back yard. My dad built raised beds about two summers ago, and the yield they get from these beds is kind of insane. They have strawberries, blueberries, an apple tree, squash and squash blossoms, zucchini, peppers, okra, tomatoes, the list goes on and on. I love going over there to visit the garden, because I’m a black thumb born into a family of all green thumbs, so I have to enjoy from afar or else the plants will wilt in fear when I come close. Poking around and getting to help water or pick veggies is incredibly grounding. More and more of me wants to move away to a piece of land near the hills and live off the land. Granted, I’d starve to death because I’d kill everything I planted, but the idea is beyond dreamy.
The zucchini is starting to pop and I love to steal the squash blossoms to stuff with a creamy ricotta cheese mixture. The squash blossoms I’ve had in the past have been fried, but I wanted to see if they came out well if baked. They did. They really did. The flavor was absolutely amazing, and not being fried kept these a bit lighter. I served the stuffed squash blossoms over a simple salad of fresh greens tossed with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper and shaved parmesan. Curl up a few pieces of sliced prosciutto and you’ve got the perfect summer meal.
Ya’ll know I love a good make ahead dish that’s wonderful for entertaining, and this definitely falls under that category. Assemble the cheese mixture, stuff the squash blossoms and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake them off. While they’re baking, assemble the salad and when the squash blossoms have cooled to room temperature after baking, gently place the squash blossoms on the salad greens for easy homestyle serving. Serve the stuffed squash blossoms with a lovely loaf of stecca bread or a crusty baguette and a light, crisp white wine. Summer entertaining has never been easier.
You may have a hard time finding zucchini / squash blossoms in the store. If you grow your own, for sure use them, but you could also check your local farmer’s market or call a local farmer to see if they could set a few aside for you.
Stuffed Squash BlossomsSERVES 4 PrintDownload
- 8 medium size squash blossoms
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- a little more salt and pepper
- shaved parmesan shards
- 8 slices of prosciutto
- Thoroughly wash the squash blossoms. Set them aside to dry.
- Mix the ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, minced garlic, eggs, basil and salt and pepper together.
- Gently open the squash blossoms, and using a small spoon, fill them about 3/4 way full. An alternate filling method would be to put the cheese filling in a plastic baggie, snip the end and fill the blossoms that way.
- Place the blossoms on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes until the cheese has cooked through and the blossoms are slightly browned. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.
- While the blossoms are cooling, whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together. Drizzle it over the greens in a big bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Top with parmesan cheese.
- To serve, place the salad on a large platter topped with the squash blossoms. Serve with prosciutto slices.