Last weekend we had some friends drop in on us. We weren’t expecting company that afternoon so I hadn’t prepared anything before hand. While Kishore was showing them around the garden I put together a quick vegetarian antipasto appetizer platter for the four of us. The platter included: Stuffed Squash Blossoms, Grilled Eggplant Rolls, Garden Giardiniera, Olives, and Rosemary Parmesan Flatbread Crackers. We sat outside in the garden by the Koi pond and talked about our vegetable gardens and our plans for next year. We sat, talked, and sipped on a lovely Muscato. Since the platter was a hit I thought I'd share the recipes...
Part 1: Stuffed Squash Blossoms
|Left- Female, Right- Male|
I used Squash Blossoms from my garden but you can usually buy them in the morning at a local Farmer’s Market. If you have your own squash plants, I’ll show you how to harvest your own blossoms.
There are two types of blossoms on a squash plant: Male and Female.
The Males are usually more abundant, open first thing in the morning, and have a thin stalk. The Females have a thicker stalk that resembles a baby zucchini. While you can harvest and stuff both, I prefer to harvest a few male flowers from each plant, and leave the female flowers to produce zucchinis later!
These Squash Blossoms are stuffed with a nutty herb spiced cheese mixture and baked till the outside is lightly crisp and the cheese is melty. It's great as an appetizer or as part of a antipasto platter.
Here is my recipe for Stuffed Squash Blossoms:
1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Feta cheese
1 TBLSP Pine Nuts
3 tsp Fresh Basil chopped
1 tsp Fresh Thyme leaves
1 tsp Ground Allspice
1 tsp Lemon juice
Salt and Black Pepper
12 Squash Blossoms
Preheat the oven to 350F.
1. Mix the cheese, basil, thyme, allspice, lemon juice, pine nuts, salt and pepper.
2. Carefully open the blossom and pick out the stamens.
3. Place about a teaspoon of the cheese mixture into each of the flowers, and lightly twist and press close.
4. Lightly oil a foil lined baking sheet, place stuffed blossoms on the sheet and lightly brush tops with olive oil.
5. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.