Stuffed Squash Blossoms

My obsession with stuffed squash blossoms started in Venice over a romantic dinner with my sweet husband Gary. This man allows me to pull him all over the world in search of the perfect anything on a plate. On this particular spring night, I was following a hunch that we would find the perfect, non-touristy cafe down a dark alley. In Venice, if you go down the wrong alley, you might not find your way back again for several hours.

We followed the street lights ahead and a beckoning aroma of something delightful until we found a small cafe full of life. And, they had a table open just for us. Having been to the Rialto market earlier that day, I was looking for something special.

Ecco, Fiori Di Zucca Fritti! And, I even understood it without a translation. These morsels were succulent and tasted like they were just picked from the garden, stuffed with creamy ricotta, and

dotted with a basil pesto. We shared a crisp bottle of white Veneto frizzante and the night slipped away into perfection. Enough of the fancy restaurants, foam, and reservations weeks in advance. I am forever hooked on simple garden fare - and only simple if you know how to eat.

The next step in duplicating these blossom morsels was to find the ingredients. This is no simple task unless you want to fly them in from California... which you can do. Or, you can grow your own. I set out to do just that and plant at least twenty zucchini plants in my yard each year.

It's best to pick and stuff the blossoms in the morning before it gets too hot and the flowers remain open. Simply stuff each blossom with goat cheese or ricotta, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. I have found a vegan gouda that is creamy and delicious, too.

Make a thin batter with flour, water and a pinch of salt. It should be about the consistency of a thin pancake batter. Dredge the stuffed blossoms in the batter and then sautee in a hot pan of olive oil turning each after a few minutes. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt. I like to serve these with fresh pesto. If this all sounds too hard, you can also order them directly from Something Classic in the summer on our website... they warm up nicely.