Its still officially winter here in Australia and a little too early for me to be picking zucchini blossoms. I was overjoyed when my fruit grocer found some blossoms from his daily market trip. As it was early in the season the blossoms were slightly smaller than the usual. Don’t be mistaken they were perfect to use in a classic Italian manner of stuffing in a light creamy mixture of pecorino, ricotta and herbs, coating in a light batter and flash frying. I’m not a fan of frying and you will probably struggle to find blog posts of fried food here but on this occasion it is well worth it.
A Lightly coated batter renders a crunchy coating to the delicate blossom breaking through into a warm creamy centre. The pecorino releases a sharp undertone to what is otherwise a delicate meal.
Do try to find pecorino as it is well worth it. Pecorino is much stronger flavoured cheese with a smooth slightly peppery undertone. Ideal companions to this delicate dish.
If you have to use parmesano you will need to triple the quantity and reduce slightly the ricotta quantity.
The method used to make the batter below will guarantee you a crispy coating. Nothing worse than soggy batter.
3/4 cup ricotta strained
1/4 cup Pecorino
3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
For The Batter
1/2 cup plain flour
1 1/2 cups soda water cold
2 cups light olive oil
1 cup pulpa tomato
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
Make the tomato Puree
In a small saucepan caramelize the garlic in the olive oil. Add the tomato , when it starts to bubble add the water and season.
When it has reduced, take off the heat and blend.
Prepare the blossoms
Ensure the blossoms are dry.
Combine the ingredients for the filling.
If your flowers have small zucchinis make a small 1 cm horizontal cut.
Delicately open the flowers and remove the stamen without tearing the petals.
Stuff with ricotta mixture and twist shut the tips of the flowers.
Mix all the batter ingredients with a whisk until no lumps appear and batter is smooth.
Heat the oil and ensure it is hot and deep enough. Poor a little batter to check if it is hot enough. It should bubble immedietly and stay to the surface when ready.
Hold the flower from the base or the zucchini dip in the batter wipe any excess batter using the side of the bowl.
Dip into hot oil.
Turn over, and cook until a golden colour appears on the batter. Try the first one if you need to. Remove from the oil and strain well place onto a paper towel while your working with the others.
On a serving dish, pour the smooth tomato Puree and arrange the cooked crispy blossoms on top.