Squash blossoms are one of my favorite summer finds. Although I rarely fry foods, I prepare these lovely flowers the way my great-grandmother did and make a simple batter.
For a dozen blossoms, I use about two heaping tablespoons of flour, one cup of water and one egg. If the batter seems too thin after mixing these ingredients, add more flour so that it is the consistency of a thick pancake or waffle batter. The batter should be thick enough to stick to the blossoms – if you are unsure about the thickness, simply dip in a blossom to test. Also add a few pinches of salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
When ready to fry, heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. You can test the oil for readiness by adding a drop of water or batter and seeing if it sizzles. When the oil reaches the desired temperature, dip each blossom in the batter, making sure to coat the entire flower, and lay it in the oil. You will likely have to fry in two batches. When one side is golden, use tongs to turn and brown the other side. Each side will take about two to three minutes. As you remove them from the skillet, place the blossoms on a plate covered in a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
These distinctive tasting delicacies are an ideal summer appetizer and, certainly, a conversation piece. You will also find recipes for stuffing the blossoms with ricotta, corn and anchovies, for example, but I prefer to let the flavor of the blossoms shine.