One of the (many) perks to having a garden is having the choice to grow hard-to-find produce or varieties that are only farmer's market accessible - heirloom tomatoes, rare hot peppers, colorful beans, etc. Since we've had a stretch of really hot days, everything in the garden has exploded with lush green foliage and huge leaves. It's been crazy going Upstate on the weekends and seeing the tremendous progress these plants are making! The zucchini, most notably, has turned into giant 4 foot bushes of prehistoric proportions. Truth be told, I'm not wild about zucchini, but these squash blossoms have been on my list of Top 3 Things I'm Most Excited To Harvest.
These guys are not only beautiful, they taste like sweet, tender zucchini. I recently made them stuffed, but this much simpler version is my favorite.
Tempura Fried Squash Blossoms (makes 6):
- 6 squash blossoms
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- approximately 3/4 cup soda water, very very cold
- vegetable oil for frying, approximately 2 cups
- lemon wedges and additional salt, for serving
First, in a cast iron pan, heat up the frying oil over medium high heat. the oil should be almost an inch deep. While that is heating up, mix the flour, corn starch, and salt together in a bowl. Lay out a paper towel on a plate for when the squash blossoms come out of the pan. With a fork, mix in the soda water (keep it in the fridge until right before mixing as to keep it cold), until the mixture is uniform. The consistency should be like wet paint - runnier than cake batter, but it should stills adhere.
Make sure the oil is hot before frying the first one. To test, drop a little bit of batter in the oil and it should bubble vigorously. One by one, dip the squash blossoms by the stem into the batter, rolling it around to completely coat. Let the excess batter drip off, and gently lay them into the hot oil, taking care to drop them in away from you. Fry about 1 minute on each side, or until it is crispy and very lightly golden. Let it drain on a paper towel and lightly salt before serving with a squeeze of lemon and very cold wine.