Baked Stuffed Squash Flowers

squash flower mozzarella stuffing

One of the classic family stories that I’ve heard a million times but don’t remember is this: Little Laura, maybe three or four years old, is asked if she wants some squash at dinner time.  I replied, “Yes, please, but I’d like it whole, not squashed.”  SO cute, right?!  It makes me smile every time.

Not only do I love un-squashed squash,  I love interesting ingredients (like fava beans).  Last week at Gisuppe’s in San Luis Obispo, we ordered the fried zucchini flower appetizer, and after that I knew I was ready to create my own.  Luckily, this past Thursday at SLO Farmer’s Market, I found some for sale and bought a basket – they cost something like $2, and there were probably 10 in the basket, though some were too small to stuff.  I knew I wanted mine to involve mozzarella, and I knew I didn’t want to fry them…so this is what I came up with.  Tomato Basil Mozzarella Stuffed Baked Squash Flowers.  Oh my goodness.
Click for more pretty photos!

Important note: Squash flowers are best used on the same day of your purchase.  I did not know this, and went to use mine three days later.  They were wilted, which made them harder to work with and not as pretty (but still delicious!).  Now I know!

Baked Stuffed Squash Flowers
These work as an appetizer or a main course.

8 squash flowers
2 ounces mozzarella, cut into very small cubes
3 tablespoons chopped, oven-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh basil, julienned
Olive oil for drizzling

Note: I would imagine that the quantity of these ingredients would be larger for flowers that are not wilted, so if you try this take a look and see how much stuffing you think you can fit in.  Mozzarella and tomatoes are easy to cut up, so it’s not a huge deal to make more stuffing, either.

1. Combine mozzarella, tomato, and basil in a bowl.
2. Carefully open flower and gently snap off the stamen (where the pollen would be).  If the flower is attached to a squash, slice the squash but leave it attached to the flower – it will look somewhat fanned-out.  These baby squash are delicious, don’t throw them out!!

3. Gently fill flowers with mozzarella mixture.  You can use your hands or a spoon.  Twist the tops of the flowers to close.
stuffed squash flowers4. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a 400F oven for 15-20 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!

crispy squash flowers


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