Foodie Friday: Zucchini blossoms, stuffed, battered and fried. Yum.
I’m rerunning this Foodie Friday post because I spotted some zucchini blossoms on a Facebook friend’s page yesterday (Hi, Rita!), and now I can’t stop thinking about this delicious and easy treat. I may have to get to the farmer’s market tomorrow morning to see if I can grab some up for an appetizer. Here’s the original post and why you need to go get zucchini blossoms, too:
When I went to Rome almost three years, I wandered from restaurant to restaurant, desperately asking (in my pathetic version of Italian): “Fiori di zucca fritta?” Fried zucchini blossoms? And the answer was a resounding: “No, not in season.” Argh.
At that point, I had never had fried zucchini blossoms and had never made fried zucchini blossoms, but my grandmother always talked about making them back in the day. So this had been my quest: to find them, to make them, to eat them.
Then I spied a bushel of blossoms at the Delmar Farmer’s Market one Saturday morning, although I was completely put off by the price – $1 a blossom – and knew my grandmother would be totally outraged if I paid that price. So I walked on by and then I walked back, and looked longingly. My friend Dorothy finally said, “Just buy them!” So I asked if I could get a deal if I bought a bunch. I ended up with 18 blossoms for $8, which is not bad at all. That’s them in the photo above. Aren’t they pretty?
Now to figure out what to do with the delicate blossoms. So I looked through a Rome book Dennis bought me for Christmas and found a recipe I could adapt, which means I was planning to leave out the anchovies. I don’t care how much flavor they have. Blech.
I washed the blossoms and patted them dry. Then I took goat cheese and switched up the plain recipe by adding some chopped fresh basil, some chopped scallions, a scoop of cream cheese and a splash of half and half and mashed it all together. I carefully stuffed a little of the cheese mixture into each flower, wrapping the petals around it. Next I dipped the stuffed blossoms in a flour batter made with flour, water, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of white vinegar. Finally, they went into the frying pan, where I cooked them in oil for about five minutes. All that was left to do was to put them on a warm platter, sprinkle with coarse salt, and devour.
The result: Squisito! I fully expected to get at least four of the blossoms, but my girls liked them so much I got only two. I’m making another round tonight and may try tweaking the goat cheese filling by blending in some garlic or other flavoring. We’ll see.
I reported all this to my grandmother with pride. When she made them, she didn’t stuff them, just battered and fried them up. I may try that another day, if I happen upon a bushel of blossoms for a good price before the season is over.