I am always impressed by the quality of the zucchini available in the markets here in Alba - but that they also have the most magnificent flowers still attached is a fantastic bonus. Today's recipe takes advantage of that flower.
8 zucchini flowers
100 grams fresh ricotta
25 grams grated parmesan
freshly ground white pepper
½ cup flour
Make the filling:
It's important to use a good fresh, firm ricotta just like this one
For an extra smooth filling, push the ricotta through a fine sieve. Place the sieved ricotta and parmesan into a bowl - stir to combine, taste and season with a little freshly ground white pepper.
Prepare the zucchini flowers:
You'll need to remove the pistil before stuffing - the petals are quite elastic and will fold back. Break off the pistil close to the base - only do this when you're ready to fill the flower as they will wilt quickly at this stage.
Place half an anchovy at the base of the flower and top with filling - be careful not to overfill and leave enough of the flower free so it can be twisted shut.
Make the batter:
The key to this crisp batter is ice cold water - fill a jug with ice and then top up with cold water.
Place the egg and flour into a bowl and whisk, pouring in enough of the iced water to create a thin batter - it should be pouring cream consistency.
Once the batter is made - time to deep fry the flowers.
Cook the flowers:
Holding onto the base, dip the stuffed flower into the batter and pull out, letting as much of the excess batter run off - glide it into the oil, let it sizzle for a few seconds before releasing the rest into the oil.
They'll only take about 30 seconds or so each side to cook through. When done, place on paper towels to remove any excess oil. Repeat the process until all the flowers are cooked.
Serve at once.
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