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Appetizers, Vegetarian

Ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms

Ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms
Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

In the dining room at Osteria Mozza, some kid is arguing with Nancy Silverton about food. It's mid-morning and with the restaurant closed for lunch, it's about the only time the room is empty. But already through the tall windows ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 pound low-moisture mozzarella, cut in small cubes
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut in small cubes
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 to 18 squash blossoms
  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 3/4 cup sparkling water
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Sea salt
  • Lemon juice

Step 1Pass the ricotta through a food mill or fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Stir in the eggs, low-moisture mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, nutmeg and salt. Taste and add more salt or nutmeg if necessary.

Step 2Stuff each squash blossom with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture, being careful not to overstuff -- the ricotta should not be forcing its way out of the flower. Figure 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons per blossom.

Step 3Place the rice flour in a medium bowl and slowly whisk in enough sparkling water to make a batter the thickness of light cream, about three-fourths of a cup. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set the bowl with the batter in the ice bath to keep it cold.

Step 4Fill a deep, wide pan with canola oil to a depth of at least 2 inches. Heat over high heat to 375 degrees. Dredge the stuffed squash blossoms in the batter, making sure they are completely covered, then drop them into the hot oil, frying only 3 or 4 at a time to avoid overcrowding. Fry until the blossoms are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 5Remove the blossoms to a tray lined with paper towels to drain briefly, then transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with sea salt and a few drops of lemon juice and serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from Matt Molina of Osteria Mozza. Squash blossoms are available at farmers markets.

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