Califonia Bountiful

Herbed goat cheese-stuffed squash blossoms

Executive Chef Ashley Hosmer
Shadowbrook Restaurant, Capitola-by-the-Sea

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8 oz. fresh goat cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp. finely minced fresh basil, mint, cilantro, parsley and chives
3 oz. walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
24 squash blossoms
2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups tempura batter mix, plus 1 cup set aside
2 1/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup ice


Place goat cheese in a stand mixer with whip attachment and turn on low speed. Add fresh herb mixture, walnuts, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Put mixture in a piping bag with a large tip. (If you don't have a piping bag, a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag will work; snip one corner with kitchen shears.) Holding one at a time, place the tip of the bag inside the top of the squash blossom and fill with goat cheese mixture. Lightly twist the top of the blossom to hold cheese inside. Once all blossoms have been filled, place them on a pan or in a container and refrigerate.

Pour vegetable oil into a heavy pan. Heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 375 degrees. Put 2 cups of the tempura mix in a container and add cold water and ice cubes. Stir. The consistency of the batter should not be thick. Dredge blossoms in the 1 cup of dry batter mix that has been set aside, then drop them into the wet batter. Carefully lay blossoms into hot oil. Once they are golden (roughly 2 minutes), remove from oil and lay on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Lightly sprinkle each with salt while warm. Serve immediately.

Because of her interest in locally grown products, Hosmer uses goat cheese from Pescadero and squash blossoms from Aromas in this recipe.

Serves 4 to 6

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