Pssst. Don't tell anyone, but I've been having a summer fling. His name is Ricotta. He is so great to be around - he gets along with everyone and never talks back or steals the remote. If you want, I can give him your number.
Anyways, it's farmer's market Thursday again, usually one day I'm feeling a little adventurous in the kitchen. I can honestly say that I've been wanting to make these for 6 years!! How do I know the exact moment, you ask?
That was the first time I tasted ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers in a restaurant....it was shortly after we got married and I remember making the reservations to A'Cote in Berkeley with my new last name. I was giddy - and even more giddy after finding these on the menu. To me, it was so fru-fru and fancy, but now with the explosion of foodie bloggers comparing notes, nothing seems out-of-the-ordinary anymore.
I've tried to reproduce them making my basic ricotta stuffing that I use to make stuffed pasta shells. I found the tempura batter online, a really easy flour/egg/water mixture.
Pick some zucchini flowers from your own garden, steal them from your neighbor's garden, or just seek them out from your local farmer's market. Brush off any visible bugs and cut out the pistil or stamen, whichever reproductive organ you see lurking down inside. Ack!
Cut up some veggies really tiny and saute until soft. Add some herbs like basil or thyme.
Add the veggies to some fresh ricotta and stir together.
Stuff each blossom with the ricotta mixture and coat with the tempura. Fry those puppies up. Get your splatter screen out. Trust me. Do it.
You can serve them up on a plate and let people pick them up like perfect little hand-held appetizers or......
.......make an appetizer plate for each person. I found some beautiful heirloom tomatoes to use as a base. They were so incredibly sweet and juicy - a perfect way to balance out the creamy fried goodness.
Nibble nibble. Munch munch.
Zucchini Blossoms with Ricotta
12 zucchini blossoms
oil for frying
1 cup finely chopped veggies (zuc, carrot, onion, broccoli, peppers etc.)
1 clove minced garlic
2 T. chopped herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, etc.)
1 small container of fresh ricotta
1 cup ice water
1 cup flour
Directions: Saute the veggies in 1 T. water until starting to turn soft. Add the garlic, cook for another minute. Remove from heat and cool. In a bowl, mix ricotta, veggies and fresh herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stuff each blossom with 1 - 2 T. of ricotta mixture. I think you could put these in the fridge at this point (not sure on that).
Heat up enough oil to cover the bottom of your pan. For the tempura batter, mix the egg and super cold ice water together, then add sifted flour, stirring briskly to avoid lumps. (This reminded me of the paper mache "glue" we made as kids). Dip the blossom into the batter, twisting the top of the flower to seal it up. Fry until golden brown on all sides. Sprinkle with sea salt after removing from pan. Enjoy!