The Market has been graced with bunches of beautiful basil this summer. Basil lends its fresh flavor and bright green color to so many wonderful dishes. Here is a recipe that embodies the Market ethos by filling gorgeous squash blossoms with creamy ricotta and fresh basil for a quintessential summer treat.

Basil-Stuffed Squash Blossoms

from Martha Stewart Living, August 2005

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves
  • 10 squash blossoms
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal

Directions:

  1. Put ricotta in a fine sieve set over a bowl. Let drain in refrigerator 3 hours or overnight. Discard liquid.
  2. Season ricotta with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; stir until smooth. Transfer to a large pastry bag fitted with a coupler. Pipe 1 tablespoon ricotta onto 1 basil leaf; pinch leaf closed. Carefully open 1 squash blossom; place stuffed basil leaf inside blossom. Press gently to seal. Repeat with remaining basil leaves and squash blossoms.
  3. Heat about 3 inches oil in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until it registers 365 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Put eggs and cornmeal in separate small bowls. Dip 1 stuffed blossom into the eggs, then into the cornmeal to coat. Fry in batches of 2 to 3 until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon; let drain. Season with salt and serve immediately. Serves 10.

How about corn slathered with basil butter, a lovely melon granita with flecks of green basil, bruschetta with freshly made pesto, a fabulous corn dip with tomatoes and basil, a tasty Caprese salad, and a creamy green dressing all made with beautiful fresh basil. Summer dining couldn’t be easier, fresher, or any better! 

Basil Butter

Cantaloupe Basil Granita

Basil Pesto

Corn Dip with Tomatoes and Basil

Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad

Basil Green Goddess Dressing

photos from marthastewart.com