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.
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
1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat the grill—preferably charcoal or wood, but gas is fine as an alternative.
- 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).
- Pipe ricotta mixture into blossoms, then twist off blossom ends and refrigerate to firm up.
- Using a mandolin, shave squash thinly into long strips.
- Dress shaved raw squash with lemon juice, basil, oil, and salt. Refrigerate until needed.
- Meanwhile, drizzle oil on zucchini and grill quickly for 10 seconds on each side on a moderately hot part of the grill.
- Melt butter until it starts to bubble, then add blossoms and quickly brown on both sides.
- 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.