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stuffed zucchini blossoms

stuffed zucchini flowers Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms…sounds so heavenly.  Summer squash which includes zucchini, is now available in local markets and food shops – they are for me, one of the highlights of the season.  They’re delicate, come in different varieties, tender, juicy, and sweet.  But before the summer squash is formed, the plant produces blossoms. If you’re lucky to find zucchini blossoms, grab them!  They’re a delight to eat.  The flower, though delicate, is wonderful stuffed with ricotta or goat cheese, dipped in a tempura-like batter, and deep-fried.  This is the most common way to eat the flowers but not limited to this.  Zucchini blossoms can be added as a pizza topping, in a frittata, tossed in a salad, made sweet by dusting with icing sugar once removed from being deep-fried or stuffed with rice.

Both male and female zucchini plants produce flowers, something I only found out about 3 years ago.  The male has a long skinny base while the female has the beginnings of a baby zucchini.  I happened to get both from Off Beet Farms (see the photo below).  Deep-frying both provided me with an opportunity to see which one I preferred and to be honest, they both were scrumptious.  The only difference was in the size of the stem.  The male was light and delicate while the stem of the female flower was more robust.  If you’re growing your own, I am told to use the male flowers unless, of course, you don’t want too many zucchinis in your garden.

zucchini blossomsGently open the flower and remove the stamen with scissors – this is bitter if left intact.  To make the filling, combine all ingredients.  Purchase whole milk ricotta cheese for a soft and creamy texture.  Open the flower and gently stuff with ricotta, about 2 teaspoons, depending on size of flower, leaving room at the top to twist the flower closed.  You can leave the stuffed flowers on a paper towel lined plate for about 15 minutes.  Any longer than that and the ricotta will start to weep.

ricotta filling for zucchini flowers To make the batter, in a bowl combine 1 cup of flour with 1/3 cup cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.  Whisk in plain or sparkling water until batter resembles thick cream.

In a heavy saucepan fill about 2-inches of oil.  Heat oil to 350f and to test if hot enough, drop a bread cube into oil.  If it turns golden after a minute, it’s ready to go.  Dip zucchini flower in batter until completely covered, let drip a bit before adding to hot oil.  Deep-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until puffed and crispy.  Remove and drain on paper towel.  Serve immediately with a sprinkling of sea salt.

stuffed zucchini blossomThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  Don’t crowd the saucepan with too many blossoms – I suggest 3 to 4 at one time.  If you tear a bit of the flower, don’t worry. Smooth it over, use the filling as a way to hold it in place and the batter will take care of the rest. If you don’t fancy stuffing the flowers, you can omit this and dip into the batter then deep-fry.  Enjoy!

stuffed zucchini blossoms
 
Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms…sounds so heavenly. Summer squash which includes zucchini, is now available in local markets and food shops – they are for me, one of the highlights of the season. They’re delicate, come in different varieties, tender, juicy, and sweet. But before the summer squash is formed, the plant produces blossoms. If you’re lucky to find zucchini blossoms, grab them! They’re a delight to eat. The flower, though delicate, is wonderful stuffed with ricotta or goat cheese, dipped in a tempura-like batter, and deep-fried.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 8 zucchini flowers
  • oil for deep-frying
  • Ricotta Filling:
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Batter:
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch,
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Gently open the flower and remove the stamen with scissors – this is bitter if left intact. To make the filling, combine all ingredients.
  2. Purchase whole milk ricotta cheese for a soft and creamy texture. Open the flower and gently stuff with ricotta, about 2 teaspoons, depending on size of flower, leaving room at the top to twist the flower closed.
  3. You can leave the stuffed flowers on a paper towel lined plate for about 15 minutes. Any longer than that and the ricotta will start to weep.
  4. To make the batter, in a bowl combine flour with cornstarch, baking powder, teaspoon sea salt. Whisk in plain or sparkling water until batter resembles thick cream.
  5. In a heavy saucepan fill about 2-inches of oil. Heat oil to 350f and to test if hot enough, drop a bread cube into oil. If it turns golden after a minute, it’s ready to go. Dip zucchini flower in batter until completely covered, let drip a bit before adding to hot oil. Deep-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until puffed and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towel. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of sea salt.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Don’t crowd the saucepan with too many blossoms – I suggest 3 to 4 at one time. If you tear a bit of the flower, don’t worry. Smooth it over, use the filling as a way to hold it in place and the batter will take care of the rest. If you don’t fancy stuffing the flowers, you can omit this and dip into the batter then deep-fry. Enjoy!

 

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