Friday, August 03, 2012

Tempura-Fried Stuffed Zucchini Flowers


I live for this recipe when zucchini blossoms are available in the summertime. I've been buying them at the farmer's market, but my Whole Foods occasionally has them too.


Tempura-Fried Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Batter adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe on foodnetwork.com.
The carbonation of soda water makes the batter light like tempura. You can use plain water, but it won't be quite the same. Read through the whole recipe before you begin--they are a lot of variables at play, so let your senses help you!

8 or up to 12 zucchini flowers
1 cup ricotta cheese (lowfat or regular)
2 ounces goat or feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil and mint or other leafy herbs
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2-3 tablespoons (as needed) soda water

Vegetable oil for frying

1. Carefully slit open the zucchini flowers and cut out the stamen inside the flower (they taste bitter). Wash the flowers and rest on paper towels to dry.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs. Season with black pepper. Fill flowers with ricotta mixture, adding only so much so that you can "close" the flowers, gently twisting the tips to keep the filling contained. You may have leftover ricotta.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper to taste. Add 3/4 cup of the soda and whisk until flour is moistened. You want the batter to achieve the consistency of pancake batter (not so thin that it runs right off your whisk). Add additional soda water, about 1/2 tablespoon at a time as needed. Let batter rest 5 minutes to allow flour to absorb liquid and whisk again briefly until most lumps are gone.

4. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil (use the greater amount if zucchini flowers are large) to a heavy skillet (not nonstick) and heat on medium high until oil sizzles when you add a drop of the batter. Dip 4 to 6 flowers in batter one at a time, coating thoroughly, and add to oil (do not crowd pan). Cook until bottoms sides are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn with tongs and repeat on opposite sides. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and drain. Repeat with remaining flowers, adjusting heat between medium and medium high to prevent flowers from browning too quickly. Serve immediately.

3 comments:

Michelle Dragoo said...

WOW, these look amazing!

SkinnyMommy said...

Always wanted to make zucchini flowers. You give me inspiration to give it a shot!

Jeff @ Cheeseburger said...

This is a very unique and healthy food. Thanks for sharing the recipe.