Bruschetta with Sautéed Squash Blossoms & Fresh Ricotta


Squash blossoms are a delicate things that appear in the farmers’ market for the briefest time in early summer.  If I see them, I buy them and rearrange my day so I can cook them as soon as I get home.  I usually fry them in a tempura style batter with chickpea flour and Indian spices, or go in an Italian direction.  Sometimes, I stuff them with goat cheese, coat them with egg wash and panko and bake them. All of these methods are time consuming and take multiple steps, though the results are always worth the effort. I’ve always wanted to have an easy way to make them, and not feel the mixed roller coaster of emotions at the excitement of finding them, then the pressure of having to prepare them almost immediately, and finally anticipation and delight of their taste .

So when I spied the beautiful delicacies at the market this week (Farmer Sarment from Plant It Forward does it again), I was determined to find a quick, easy and delicious way to prepare them.   

 I had baked a loaf of no-knead bread for the week and had Lira Rossa fresh ricotta  on hand.  I had a beautiful purple pepper from Johnson’s Backyard Garden, red potatoes from Atkinson Farms and a few  skinny plum tomatoes from Sarment. So this dish came together as a light supper, packed with nutrition, taste and the excitement of squash blossoms, with all the ingredients gathered at that morning's farmers’ market. 

To to prepare the blossoms themselves, I shake them out, gently rub with a moist paper towel, cut them in half lengthwise and take out the stamens. A little residual pollen is no problem. 

 I used Penzy’s Herbs de Provence  and a little chipotle powder to create a fresh taste with a hint of spice.  Mixing different cultural styles seems perfect as these blossoms are enjoyed by so many cultures, capturing a moment in time that seasonal cooking highlights.  The addition of tomatoes provides sweetness and balanced acidity. 

The flavor of squash blossoms is delicate and mild, but unforgettable. If you’ve never had them, this is an easy way to try them. The sautéed  blossoms can also be used as a lovely side dish.

RECIPE : Bruschetta with Sautéed Squash Blossoms & Fresh Ricotta


  • 16 squash blossoms, halved lengthwise with stamens removed
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet pepper (use what you can find)
  • 1 cup diced red potatoes  
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (if they are very watery, discard some of the seeds and water) 
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper
  • 4 slices of toasted bread
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper


Sautéing Squash Blossoms

  1. Place oil in pan with shallots, peppers, potatoes, herbs de Provence, chipotle, salt and pepper.
  2. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are translucent.  
  3. Add the tomatoes and cook another 4-5 minutes until the potatoes are cooked though. 
  4. Add the squash blossoms and toss to just wilt. Take off the heat.  
  5. Adjust seasonings. 

Assembling the Bruschetta  

  1. Spread 2 Tablespoons of ricotta on each slice of toasted bread.
  2. Drizzle with a 1/4 teaspoon olive oil, and sprinkle a tiny bit of salt and pepper over the cheese
  3. Top with the sautéed squash blossom mixture. 

Serves 4



Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry-Cinnamon Maple Syrup


I don’t usually eat breakfast, but I love breakfast foods. Growing up, my father would make us eggs and toast for breakfast before school. On weekends, we had pancakes with syrup, which I spiked with a squeeze of lemon to cut through the sweetness a bit.  My father cooked with us on the weekends which were my mothers days off (I’m fortunate to be the daughter of a man who appreciates the work that women do, and that they should have days off).  It was my 4th grade friendship with twin brothers, Doug and Denny Liphart, that taught me the concept of breakfast for dinner, and the wonders of maple syrup.  The Lipharts were from Pennsylvania and had a steady supply of the good stuff, which held the secrets of a deep, earthy, lingering sweetness that could not be found in Log Cabin or even Mrs. Butterworth’s.  Their mom, Marty, was a great cook and she left me her Betty Crocker Cookbook binder from 1965, my first cookbook. I loved her pancakes and maple syrup dinners. I may have promised each of the twins a kiss on the cheek to get invited back regularly for pancakes, but that part of my memory is fuzzy.  It was a simpler and more innocent time and filled with delicious foods.

I had another serious crush, this time in Italy, with fresh ricotta. It can be eaten just as it is, become sweet or savory on command and is soft, light and always delicious. I just kept wanting more. I recently discovered an Italian making fresh ricotta cheese in Moulton, Texas. I get his Lira Rossa fresh ricotta from the Urban Harvest Farmers’ Market when ever I can.  

So you can only imagine how I feel about ricotta pancakes. 

From a nutrition standpoint, this is a more balanced pancake, getting protein form the ricotta and eggs.  The blueberries in the syrup add lots of vitamins and minerals. And, the cinnamon has some medicinal properties, as its thought to be an anti-inflammatory spice in Ayurvedic medicine.  

My recipe is simple and quick. Separating the eggs and folding the whipped egg whites into the batter makes a lighter, fluffier pancake, but you certainly skip this step and still have a great result. Make the blueberry-maple syrup first so the berries have some time to impart their flavor to the syrup. The cinnamon adds warmth and brings the blueberries and maple flavors together.

RECIPE: Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry-Maple Syrup



  • 1 Cup whole milk ricotta  
  • 1 Cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • Butter for cooking



  1. Combine blueberries, cinnamon and syrup in a bowl and set aside. 
  2. In a work bowl, place the ricotta and sift the flour and baking soda over.  
  3. Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the cheese-flour mixture, placing the egg whites into a clean bowl big enough to beat them. 
  4. Using a electric mixer with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. You can do this with a hand whisk if you’d like.
  5. Mix the cheese, flour and yokes together with the beaters, no need to clean them. Then add the milk and beat to combine.  Stir in lemon juice and zest. Mixture will be lumpy. 
  6. Fold in beaten egg whites. 
  7. Cook pancakes with a little butter on a medium hot griddle, about 2-3 minutes each side. 
  8. Serve with blueberry Maple syrup. 

Makes 12 pancakes.