Updated: Feb 22
Crispy on the outside soft and cheesy on the inside; enjoy zero-waste gardening with this vegan and gluten free recipe!
Every spring, I plant a ton of squash plants mainly for this recipe alone. It is so easy and quick to whip up in small batches as new squash blossoms pop up each day. My husband (who can be picky) LOVES these and asks for them as soon as he sees the flowers blooming. If you haven't planted your garden yet check out my blog about building a garden. I have links for seeds included there as well.
Frying squash blossoms originated from Italy and we are so thankful for it!
One day, I was reading up on what parts of plants are edible, when I came across fried squash blossoms. I had a ton in my garden that has been coming and going so quick and I was excited to have a use for them. The only problem was that I couldn't find a recipe that fit my dietary restrictions (vegan and gluten-free). I read several different recipes to get the basic idea, picked some fresh herbs and whipped up an experimental batch that was perfection from the first bite.
The recipe uses gluten-free flour and vegan substitute cheese, but I have made this recipe measure-for-measure using normal flour and cheese and it got raving reviews as well! They fry up perfectly crisp and golden on the outside and have a warm, savory soft center that makes me feel like everything is right in the world.
If you have never tried fried squash flowers and are nervous, trust me, this is a super quick and easy recipe that's a must. If you don't have all the ingredients just wing it! The fried flowers alone are delicious. I gathered some fresh parsley, basil, and a green onion, and 6 squash flowers. For those who didn't know, squash plants have male and female flowers- the females are thicker at their base that is the beginning of a fruit, the males have skinny stems. I guess in the plant world it's the same as the human world! You want to only gather male flowers so that your female flowers can continue becoming delicious squash.
First, you want to remove the stamen from the flowers. Its okay if they split as you pull them out! Then wash and gently pat dry all your ingredients. Next, I finely chopped my green onion and minced the herbs. In a small bowl I mixed ricotta, mozzarella, minced garlic, the herbs and green onion, and some salt and pepper.
After you have prepared your filling, make the fry batter. The amount of water you add depends on how thick of a batter you want. I wanted a thin batter so that the flower flavor could really stand out. Pour some oil in a small skillet and turn the heat to medium. While the oil heats up, spoon out your filling onto the flowers and shape it with your fingers to fit the shape of the flower. I was a little too excited and forgot to take a picture of this step. Next time I make these- they are definitely worth making again soon- I will try to remember to snap a picture and upload it here. Roll your flowers back up and gently squeeze/twist the ends to encourage the petals to stay shut. Roll and dip the flowers individually in the batter, then lay them gently into the oil. Rotate the flowers as they get golden and crisp.
I didn't time this, but it went quickly, so just keep an eye on them! When one was finished frying I drained it on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkled a little salt on it too. I meant to sprinkle a little grated parmesan but forgot, I bet it would taste delicious. After they were all drained I transferred them to a plate along with some marinara for dipping. I couldn't believe how good it was! I hope you enjoy the bounty of your harvest!
Vegan Fried and Stuffed Squash Blossoms (GF)
Makes 5 fried flowers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15-20 minutes
2 TBS shredded vegan mozzarella
1 green onion chopped
2 fresh basil leaves minced
1 tsp fresh parsley minced
1/4 tsp garlic-minced
1/3 cup King Arthur measure-for-measure gluten free flour
3-4 TBS water
Remove stamens from the flowers, rinse and pat dry.
In a small bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, green onion, herbs, and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.
In another small bowl, whisk flour, a dash of salt, and water until no lumps remain. Add more or less water to desired consistency. I prefer mine slightly dripping and thin.
In a small sauce pan, pour in oil to reach a depth of at least half an inch. Turn on heat to medium.
While oil heats, put a spoonful of cheese mixture onto each flower, use all the mixture. Roll flowers back up and gently twist the top of the petals to close.
Gently dip and roll flowers in batter with a fork, allowing excess to drip off before laying flowers in hot oil to fry. Turning as they reach a golden brown color. Do not overcrowd the pan.
As flowers finish, remove them from the oil and drain them on a paper towel lined plate. Season with salt.
Best served hot. Great dipped in marinara sauce and with a sprinkle of grated parmesan.
If you try this recipe please comment to let me know how it turned out for you and any variations you might have done! I would love to see your pictures of this amazing dish as well so please tag us on Instagram @Golden.Acres.Homestead