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Crispy Vegan Squash Blossom with Macadamia Nut

Squash blossoms, aka zucchini blossoms, are a seasonal delight available from that are available from summer into early fall. They have a very mild taste, making them suitable for several recipes. Most people think of these as being traditionally Italian, but you can also find them in other cuisines worldwide. I find they pair exceptionally well with both Italian and Mexican flavours. This recipe along with my Epic Bacon-Wrapped Vegan Scallops on Pea Purée are part of a series on vegan fine dining that I hope to create soon.

Squash blossoms are typically stuffed and then pan or deep-fried. In this vegan version, I make a macadamia nut blend that replaces ricotta commonly used in traditional preparations. I use macadamia because of its neutral flavour, but I also like the texture note it gives to the recipe. macadamia nuts, unlike cashews, maintain a little bit of their body when they are pulsed in a food processor. You get a little bit of the creaminess but also a bit of grain. You could sub cashews or blanched almonds if macadamia is too expensive or difficult to find.

Macadamia nuts, pros and cons

This recipe is pricier, so it should be reserved for special occasions. Squash blossoms can run at about a dollar a piece, and macadamia nuts are on the more expensive side. There are significant savings when buying macadamia nuts in a 1 kg bag. If it’s an ingredient that you know you’ll be using for a few different recipes, you can invest in a kilo which runs about $50. After that, you can keep them in a cool, dry place or in the freezer to keep them fresh for months. I also like macadamia nuts because they don’t come with the same human rights abuses commonly associated with cashew production. I find that vegan cuisine can sometimes lean too heavily on the mightly cashew. That’s why I like experimenting with different nuts and seeds for my decadent recipes.

Fried squash flowers on a cooling rack

Crispy Vegan Squash Blossoms with Macadamia Nut Filling

Crispy decadent vegan blossoms made with a rich macadamia nut filling. Wow your dinner guests with a fabulous plant-based recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 d
Cook Time 15 d
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • 1 Food processor
  • 1 skillet cast iron works well

Ingredients
  

  • 12 squash blossoms aka zucchini blossoms
  • neutral oil for frying *I used grapeseed

Macadamia nut filling

  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsps lime or lemon juice I used lime for a Mexican-inspired plate
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • pinch of black pepper

Batter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea flour*
  • 1/2 sparkling water sub regular cold water if needed
  • pinch salt

Instructions
 

  • Gently wash the squash blossoms and search for any bugs hiding inside. Use room temperature water for a gentle rinse.
  • Make macadamia filling: Drain nuts and discard soaking water. Add all filling ingredients to a food processor and pulse for a few minutes or until smooth.
  • Using the piping bag or a spoon, stuff the flowers with macadamia nut filling. Lift the petals and drape them over the filling to cover completely.
  • Make the batter: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. The texture should resemble pancake batter.
  • Shallow fry the blossoms: Pour oil into a heavy skillet (I love cast iron for this) to a depth of about one centimetre. Heat that oil over medium. Test its readiness by adding a drop of batter to the skillet. If it sizzles, you're ready to add the flowers.
  • Coat the flower in batter, let excess bater drip off and add immediately to the skillet. Repeat this for each, adding a few at a time. Don't overcrowd.
  • Monitor the heat closely and lower it if needed. You don't want the oil to get too hot and burn the squash flowers.
  • Cook the coated squash blossoms in the hot oil until pale golden brown, then flip to cook opposite side. Remove from the pan and let excess oil drip on a paper towel or over a cooling tray.

Notes

Note: I add chickpea flour for its egglike stickiness; you can skip this step if needed.
Keyword Summer
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