Olive Oil Fried Squash Blossoms
1/3 cup (2 oz) flour
2 good pinches of salt
About 3 oz water (sparkling water is optional)
1 tsp milk
10 to 12 zucchini blossoms
1 cup whole-milk ricotta (preferably fresh)
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided.
Clean the Blossoms - Remove the pistil and stem of the flowers, then rinse gently and dry on paper towel. It's okay if they tear a little or you open them completely. It is easier to make sure there's no dirt or bugs inside this way.
Make the Filling - In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, basil, egg yolk and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Set aside.
Make the Batter - Put the flour and salt in a bowl which you can dip the flowers into. Add the milk, and then the water a little at a time and beat with a whisk or fork. Keep adding the water until a thick consistency is reached. Beat well for another minute or two. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes or longer.
Fill the Blossoms - With a small spoon or piping bag, gentle fill each blossom with a couple teaspoons worth of filling and gently twist the blossoms closed before dipping in batter. Dip the Flowers.
Preheat the oil in the frying pan. It should be hot when adding the flowers. You can test it with a drop of batter if you're unsure. Dip the flowers into the batter, coating well, then add to the hot oil in the pan.
Fry the Flowers - Add the flowers to the hot oil in the pan. Again, you don't have to deep fry these. Pan frying in a little olive oil is just as good. Fry until cooked on one side, then turn and continue to cook until ready. Remove and place on a wire rack over a paper towel lined pan. Best eaten while still hot/warm.