Cannelloni-Style Baked Squash Blossoms

In the event that you are tired of hearing us wax obsessed about squash blossoms, too bad! We have another squash blossom extravagance to share. While we usually stuff, batter and fry the delicate flowers, we wanted to try a lighter recipe that was less labor intensive.

Squash blossoms provide the perfect vehicle for holding fillings similar to the pasta tubes used to make cannelloni or manicotti. So following that line of thinking, we decided to try a ricotta-based filling in the blossoms that could be baked by the dozen, rather than fried in batches of three or four.

We have also noticed recently that several traditional Italian recipes combine crab meat and mild cheeses like mozzarella or ricotta. Having a bit of crab meat left from a recent crab cake feast, we decided to add it to the filling. The resulting blossoms held their shape, the filling was firm yet creamy, the flavors were complementary and not overpowering; in other words, well, amazing! Proving yet again that in the Romeo repertoire, squash blossoms reign supreme.

  • 12 squash blossoms
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
  • ½ cup crabmeat (optional)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare the blossoms by removing the pollen-dusted stamen from each before stuffing. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together ricotta, egg yolk, herbs, salt and pepper. Once combined, gently fold in the crab meat without breaking it up. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large pastry tip, pipe the filling into each blossom about 2/3 full.

Put the remaining 2 eggs in a bowl and whisk until frothy, and place the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Loosely twist the petals together to close before dipping each stuffed squash blossom in the egg, and then in the breadcrumbs before transferring to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake the blossoms for 10 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving to allow the centers to set up a bit.