I’ve always wanted to make fried squash blossoms and the moment was about an hour ago. I cut about seven from the garden and followed the recipe in Marcella Hazan’s “The Classic Italian Cookbook”, which is astoundingly easy to get my head around. The way she writes and her recipes, that is. There aren’t many illustrations, but the few there are, are strategically placed. And I love how she numbers the steps in her recipes.
So the process is super simple — the batter is a pastella, the same as you’d use for fried squash, eggplant, etc. Just whisk flour into a bowl containing a cup of water until it is the consistency of sour cream. Add the flour in very small amounts to keep it smooth. I added a little salt and freshly ground pepper.
Pour enough oil in a frying pan that it comes up 3/4 of an inch on the side. Heat the oil — get it very, very hot.
Lightly, barely rinse off the blossoms in cold water and pat dry. Really, the less you touch them, the better.
Make a slit in the base of the flower on one side and gently flatten it, like you were butterflying a chicken breast.
NB: Check inside the flowers before using the knife. A honeybee buzzed from one of them just as I was getting ready to cut. Disaster averted. But the bee population being what it is, accidentally frying one would have been a serious downer.
Then drag the blossoms by the stem through the batter and drop into the very hot oil. Flip over when they start looking crispy — mine took about a minute or so. The batter will lightly brown.
Drain on a towel for a couple of minutes and serve immediately. They should be crisp on the outside, with a soft, fragile texture inside. The taste is really subtle and they’re pretty to look at.