Stuff your squash blossoms (and friends) with this seasonal recipe

For more than 40 years, Berkeley Bowl has been selling fresh and unusual produce to East Bay grocery shoppers. Author Laura McLively wrote "The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook" to share some recipes that teach readers how to use the unique ingredients found at the market.

Photo by Erin Scott.

In 1977, the Berkeley Bowl opened its doors in a former bowling alley, aiming to give California’s East Bay community an international grocery shopping experience. Today Berkeley Bowl co-founder Glen Yasuda still wakes up every morning at 4 a.m., trekking across the Bay Bridge to visit a handful of produce markets where he gets first pick of the seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Author of “The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook” Laura McLively, says that Yasuda’s relationship to produce sellers around the Bay Area is what gives the Bowl its consistent selection of unusual vegetables and fruits.

Visit Berkeley Bowl this month and you’ll find squash blossoms and corn, both in the midst of their peak seasons. Below, McLively shares a recipe from her new book that incorporates both. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this recipe only has five ingredients– these stuffed squash blossoms look and taste deceptively gourmet.

“Their molten centers of ricotta and corn and elegantly tied up with fresh chives, there isn’t a better way to savor the tender zucchini flowers that mark the start of summer,” McLively says. “It’s impossible to decide whether these are better baked or fried, so take your pick—or try both.”

Some tips:

Availability of ingredients: Well-stocked groceries and farmers’ markets from late spring to summer
Selecting the blossoms: Vibrant yellow-orange flowers that are tightly closed
How to store: Refrigerate wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag for up to 2 days
Preparation suggestion: Do not wash the squash blossoms with water; simply wipe away dust with a damp towel
Not interested in blossoms?: Try flexible leaves such as Swiss chard