Fresh Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms

This past weekend, I made my first batch of
fresh ricotta .

 It was a timely experiment, as one of my other favorite ingredients was also available at the farmer's market- squash blossoms.  They're only in season for a short time, so when they arrive, scoop them up!

I got two big bunches for only $6. A real bargain when you think about how hard they are to find, even at farmer's markets.

With my fresh ricotta at the ready, it was a perfect time to make one of my favorite summer treats- Ricotta Stuffed Squash blossoms. They're delicate and sweet and have a slightly salty crunch from being lightly pan- fried in olive oil and dusted with Parmesan cheese.

They need to be eaten hot right out of the pan while the outside crust is still crisp and the inside cheese filling is creamy and soft.

1 bunch squash blossom {about 10-12 small blossoms}
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 Tablespoon Arugula Pesto {or 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs}
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 whole egg
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese for garnish

To clean squash blossoms, you need to gently soak them in cold water.  Remove from the water and dry on paper towels. If the blossoms are small, which is preferred, you might need to open them up so you can easily stuff them. Some people recommend removing the stamen, but I like the texture and flavor of part of the blossom.

In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, pesto or herbs, salt and pepper. In another bowl, beat the egg well. In a third bowl, place the bread crumbs. To stuff the blossoms, open them up and spoon about a teaspoon or so of the ricotta mixture evenly into the blossom.  Gently fold each side of the blossom together so it encloses the stuffing mixture.  When all of the blossoms are stuffed,  use a large saute pan to warm the oil over medium low heat.

 Dip each squash blossom in the egg, then coat well with the bread crumbs. Place into the hot oil and saute until it is brown and crisp on all sides, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan, place on a plate lined with parchment or brown paper and dust with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy immediately!

Buon appetito! copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

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