Tag Archives: ricotta

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

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This time of year my squash blossoms start popping up in my veggie garden. Needless to say, it’s time to pick them and stuff them with ricotta cheese and fresh basil from my garden and fry them up.

This recipe for stuffed squash blossoms from my book,  Picture Perfect Parties (Rizzoli), is one of my favorite summer staples. I make it every year for family and friends in honor of the first time I made them on the Amalfi coast. Planting squash in my garden is a given every year, and when summer comes, I start stuffing and frying. You will adore this recipe. The delicate flavors and crisp texture will make you swoon. You will be planting squash in you garden every year just to yield this cheese filled delicacy. Trust me.

Get out there and pick those gorgeous blossoms!

Ricotta Stuffed Fried Squash Blossoms
Serves 6-8

You will need:

– 12 to 16 large zucchini squash blossoms
– About 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
– 1 cup whole-milk ricotta (preferably fresh)
– 1 large egg yolk
– 1/4 cup finely chopped basil
– 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
– 1 egg
– 3/4 cup chilled seltzer or club soda
– 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
– Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare:

For the filling:

– 1 cup whole-milk ricotta (preferably fresh)
– 1 large egg yolk
– 1/4 cup finely chopped basil
– 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
– ½ teaspoon salt

For the batter:

Note* you can make the batter a couple hours before and set aside.

– 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
– 1 egg
– 3/4 cup chilled seltzer or club soda
– 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon pepper

Filling the blossoms:

Dry the squash blossoms with a paper towel, do not wash them under the tap, wash them in a bowl of water.

Carefully make a small opening in the top of each blossom. Using a piping bag or plastic bag with a hole cut into the bottom, pipe the filling into the opening filling about half way up the flower. Close end and gently twist flower closed.

Store the stuffed blossoms in the fridge until you are ready to fry.

Frying the squash blossoms:

Heat oil. Test heat by dropping a few drops of the batter, if it crisps up you are ready to go. Dip stuffed blossoms into the batter with a small tongs then drop them carefully into the oil.

Fry the blossoms until crisp and place on a paper towel to drain.  Serve immediately.

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For more great spring recipes check out my cookbook: Picture Perfect Parties here.

Photos from Picture Perfect Parties “Italian Spring Feast of Squash Blossoms” Chapter

Photo Credit: Deborah Whitlaw Llewelleyn

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Ricotta Spinach Quiche, it’s what’s for brunch

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Did I hear this right? Was it national Brunch Day recently? Well, what better way to celebrate (even if I am a little late to the party) than with quiche. As you know, I am in Italy this summer. My dear friend Forrest and his boyfriend are huge fans of quiche and brunch for that matter. Here in Italy, it’s more lunch-y, but as with all things, brunch has managed to cross the pond and become a thing here too.

This is a recipe I invented because of the beautiful ricotta available everywhere here in Tuscany.

Ricotta Spinach Quiche
Serves 8

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

For the Filling:

You will need:
– 6 eggs
– 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
– 4 cups of fresh spinach
– 1/4 sliced red onion
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup of cubed speck ham
– 1 cup cubed buffalo mozzerella
– 1 Pate Brisee (recipe below)

To prepare:

Whisk eggs in a large bowl, add ricotta cheese, mozzerella cheese, and salt, set aside.

In a frying pan, add the speck ham and saute for 10 minutes until the ham becomes crispy. Pour off any excess fat and set aside.

In a saute pan, add olive oil and saute spinach and onion until spinach is wilted, about 10 minutes, set aside to cool.

Once the spinach is cooled, in batches squeeze the excess liquid in your hands into the sink. Place into the bowl of eggs and cheeses, add speck, and combine completely. Your filling should be green.

Roll out the Pate Brisee into a disk, and fit into a 9 inch quiche pan, add the filling. You may also blind bake the crust if you wish; it’s definitely an option.

Bake for 45-50 minutes in a 375 degree F oven.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

For Pate Brisee:

You will need:
– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 1 stick butter chilled and cut into cubes
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ¼ to ½ cup ice water

To prepare:

Place flour, sugar, butter, and salt into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a mixing blade. Mix on medium until small crumbs form, add ice water until the dough pulls together and away from the side of the bowl.

The dough should be a soft consistency.

Place dough in the fridge to rest.

Happy brunching..xx

 

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