Photo by Rush Jagoe

From chef Nathan Thurston, based in Charleston, this squash blossom salad features a light, herby salad drizzled with lemon and olive oil and topped with the showstopping ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms. Utilizing the full garden, Thurston features a chilled herb salad with gold bar squash, followed by freshly grilled zucchini and topped with quick-seared squash blossoms. Gold Bar squash are similar to yellow squash but have a dark yellow color and are more dense and hearty compared to the more watery summer squash.

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4 servings

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 16 medium-large squash blossoms, washed and dried
  • 3 gold bar squash
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 4 zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Preheat the grill—preferably charcoal or wood, but gas is fine as an alternative.
  2. Season ricotta with sea salt and pepper and place in a piping bag (you can use a small Ziploc and cut off one of the bottom corners).
  3. Pipe ricotta mixture into blossoms, then twist off blossom ends and refrigerate to firm up.
  4. Using a mandolin, shave squash thinly into long strips.
  5. Dress shaved raw squash with lemon juice, basil, oil, and salt. Refrigerate until needed.
  6. Meanwhile, drizzle oil on zucchini and grill quickly for 10 seconds on each side on a moderately hot part of the grill.
  7. Melt butter until it starts to bubble, then add blossoms and quickly brown on both sides.
  8. To serve, arrange raw squash salad on a plate and top with grilled zucchini. Then add squash blossoms on top. Drizzle salad with a squeeze of lemon and a little olive oil. Garnish with whole basil leaves.
  • Recipe by
    from chef Nathan Thurston
  • Contributing City
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