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stuffed zucchini blossoms

stuffed zucchini flowersStuffed 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: The Culinary Chase
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!

 

The post stuffed zucchini blossoms appeared first on The Culinary Chase.

About Heather Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. Over the years, I began to change our diet to include more vegetables, pulses, whole grains and less red meat. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat, just not in super-size portions (too hard for the body to digest). I always use the palm of my hand as a guide to portion control when eating red meat. If the meat is larger than my hand, I save that portion for another day. Also, if the veggies on your plate look colorful (think the colors of the rainbow) – red, green, yellow, orange etc. then you’re most likely getting the right amount of nutrients per meal. I post recipes that I think help maintain a healthy body. I use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I make a conscious effort to eat healthy and 20% for when I want french fries with gravy (poutine). Balance is the key and to enjoy life with whatever comes my way. Thanks for visiting!

 

The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.

http://theculinarychase.com/

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