Zucchini Blossom Recipes
Take your pick from these fabulous zucchini blossom recipes.
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Classic Fried Zucchini Blossoms
zucchini blossoms, with stems attached
1 cup flour
1 cup water
salt to taste
1-1/2 cups mildly flavored olive oil, about (or half olive oil and half vegetable oil)
Pick over the blossoms, discarding any that look spoiled or buggy. Rinse them very lightly and quickly and drain in a colander. Pat dry. In a small skillet, heat the oil slowly over medium-high heat to frying temperature, about 360 degrees.
While the oil is heating, gradually whisk the flour into 1 cup water to obtain a thin cream. Add a pinch of salt and whisk it in. When ready to fry, take a blossom by its stem, dip it in the flour-and-water batter (or pastella, as it is called), let the greater part of the batter drip back into the bowl, and drop the coated blossom in the hot oil to sizzle and fry until crisp and golden.
Proceed with the rest of the blossoms, frying them in batches and removing them when crisp with a slotted spoon, to drain on a rack covered with paper towels. When all the blossoms are done, sprinkle with a bit more salt and serve right away.
- The Flavors of Tuscany by Nancy Harmon Jenkins
Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
Cookbook author Susan Herrmann Loomis walks a first-time or, shall we say, blossoming cook through every step in this recipe, which is much easier than it looks. She uses mineral or seltzer water to give the batter zip. The short version? Clean, stuff, fry, enjoy.
8 good-sized zucchini flowers, pistils removed, with a tiny zucchini attached if possible
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup (1/2 ounce) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 small clove garlic, minced
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
2/3 cup flour
1 cup carbonated mineral water or seltzer
olive oil and vegetable oil, 1/2 and 1/2
Very gently wipe the zucchini blossoms clean if necessary. If a small zucchini is attached, slice it lengthwise in thirds like a fan, leaving it attached to the blossom. Whisk together the ricotta, egg, cheese, garlic, nutmeg and a pinch of salt in a medium-size bowl.
Spoon or pipe the filling into the zucchini flowers, handling them gently. Each flower should have 2 generous tablespoons of filling. Preheat the oven to very low. It will be a holding oven.
Place the flour in a large bowl and whisk in the water until smooth. Line a baking sheet with clean, plain, brown paper or paper towels.
Heat the oil in a small deep skillet to a temperature of 375 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, test the heat by dropping in a teaspoon of batter; it should float quickly to the surface and turn golden. Dip one of the flowers in the batter, making sure it is evenly and thoroughly coated. If it has a small zucchini attached, make sure it is coated as well.
Hold the flower over the bowl to let any excess batter drip off, then lower it gently into the oil and cook just until the batter is crisp and golden, up to four minutes, if that.
Fry no more than 2 flowers at a time. Use a slotted spoon to remove the flowers from the oil and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven with the door slightly ajar to keep the finished flowers warm while you prepare the rest.
Arrange 2 flowers on each of 4 small warmed plates. Dust lightly with sea salt and serve.
Marcella's Zucchini Blossom Fans
12 to 14 zucchini blossoms
1 cup water
2/3 cup flour, about
vegetable oil, enough to come 3/4 inch up the sides of a small skillet
Use the blossoms on the day you buy them. Keep them loosely wrapped in damp paper towels. Wash the blossoms rapidly under cold running water and dry them gently on paper towels. Check for insects and remove the pistil from the center of the flowers before using. If the stems are very long, cut them down to 1 inch in length. Cut the base of the blossom on one side and open the flower flat, without dividing it.
To make the batter, put one cup of water in a soup plate and gradually add the flour, sifting it through a sieve and constantly beating the mixture with a fork until all the flour has been added. The batter should have the consistency of sour cream.
Heat the oil over high heat. When it is very hot, dip the blossoms quickly in and out of the batter and slip them into the skillet. When they are golden brown on one side, turn them and cook them to golden brown on the other side. Transfer to paper towels to drain, sprinkle with salt and serve promptly while still hot. Serves 4.
- The Classic Italian Cookbook, by Marcella Hazan
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