Saturday, August 20, 2011

Baked Cheese-Filled Squash Blossoms

I seem to be on some sort of filled vegetable kick. Today's offering, squash blossoms.

You Will Need:

Squash blossoms
Sieved and drained cottage cheese (4% milkfat)
1 ounce finely shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped, preserved lemon rind (or 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh zest)
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Pinch dried thyme
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup crumbled cracker crumbs (I used Breton, but any rich sort of cracker will do)
1/2 teaspoon dry breadcrumbs (I had sourdough, but again, use what you have)
1/2 cup AP flour

Wash blossoms carefully and remove pistil. Let dry on a towel. You'll need to carefully spread the flower to dry, which is tedious, but you don't want to tear it. Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, parsley, lemon, fennel, thyme, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mash together well. You can beat-in an egg as well if you prefer a lighter filling.

Carefully pull back the petals and fill the blossom. Don't over-fill it. The ends can be folded over each other, or neatly twisted closed. Set aside. In a shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and crumbled crackers. In another, place the AP flour. In a third shallow bowl, beat the eggs.

If your blossoms have squash still attached, cut them into fans. Carefully roll the blossom in flour, then dip in egg mixture to coat well. Roll carefully in breadcrumb/cracker mixture. Place on a plate. Repeat until all are done. Chill until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a shallow baking dish and arrange the blossoms/squash. If you have squash, place small pats of butter between the fans. Dot the blossoms generously with butter as well. Bake 10-15 minutes or until filling is done, and blossoms have a crisp, golden coating.

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