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Beflowered Baked Squash Blossoms


For a reason that we'll get to in a post later this week, I've been inspired to cook with flowers this weekend. Lots and lots of flowers. One of the pleasures of summer in Italy is being able to eat fried stuffed zucchini flowers—the cheese and anchovies are warm and soft inside the crisp fiori. I decided to try a baked version. And I swapped in smoked salmon instead of the anchovies and added, you guessed it, flowers.

Ingredients
  • 1 C breadcrumbs (I used organic panko breadcrumbs)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 C organic mini flowers + more for garnish
  • 1 C fresh ricotta
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, diced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 10 large organic squash blossoms, destemmed*
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • fresh marinara sauce for serving (for this round, I used an heirloom tomato chutney)

Procedure

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together ricotta, salmon, and mini flowers. Season with freshly ground pepper. Place 2 eggs in a bowl and whisk. Put the breadcrumbs in another bowl.

Gently open the petals of each flower and carefully pinch out the filaments inside. Spoon some of the cheese mixture into each flower and press the petals closed.


Twist loosely at the end to close.


Dip each stuffed squash blossom in egg, then breadcrumbs.


Lay them on a silicone mat-lined or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle them with parmesan cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.


As I mentioned, I served this with an heirloom tomato chutney in a small bowl. Then I scattered more mini flowers over the platter.


*Note: I originally left the stems on because I liked how they looked. However, they were scorched in the baking process, so I snipped them off before plating them.

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