Fried Squash Blossoms with Goat Cheese and Herbs

16 squash blossoms
5 oz. goat cheese
2 Tbs. minced chives
2 tsp. minced marjoram
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbs. milk or cream
1 extra-large egg
6 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. olive oil
3/4 cup unbleached flour
Vegetable oil for frying
Lemon wedges for garnish

Gently wash and dry the squash blossoms; remove the stamens and pistils.

In a small bowl, mash the goat cheese with a fork and add the herbs, salt, pepper, and a few teaspoons of milk. Blend well and add a little more milk if necessary.

In a shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg with a fork. Add the water and olive oil and blend well.
Add the flour and salt to taste and combine to make a smooth batter.

Using a teaspoon or your fingers, gently stuff the blossom with the goat cheese and herb mixture.

Into a skillet over medium heat, pour the oil so that it is about 3/4 inch deep. Holding the flower by the open end, dip it into the batter, and place it in the skillet. Repeat with a few more flowers. Turn them gently so that they turn golden brown all over. Drain the cooked flowers on paper towels while frying the rest. Serve them hot with lemon wedges.

Note: If you are frying a lot of flowers, you can place them in a preheated 300 degree oven for a short time to keep them warm, but they are best served immediately.

Makes 16 blossoms

Source of recipe: Susan Belsinger, Kitchen Gardener #26