Ahhh summer!! Lovely weather, zero humidity, vacation frame of mind, bright veggies and perfect fruit meaning my canning/jamming duties have to begin, like, right now!
I felt the sudden urgency of stocking up on berries. Yes, I know I'm a tad obsessive, but think of it though, what if blueberry season goes by and I've not made any mildly sweet, utterly delicious, purplish-blue jam?? So I rushed out to the nearest U-PICK by our home, a mammoth of a place called Larriland farms, which was a good 25 mile drive away. 2 hours and 6 lbs of blueberries later I stopped by their "Red barn" to get something to drink, an anise-y, old fashioned soda called sarsaparilla (sp?). Refreshingly delicious. But of course, something else catches my eye in a metallic cooler in their pre-picked veggie section...a lone plastic carton filled with 8 beautiful yellow zucchini flowers. I grabbed the carton before even being logical about it, you know those practical thoughts that I should have been thinking about like I've never really eaten or even seen these dainty beauties, what could I possibly do with them, but $3 ($2.99 to be exact) was not a bad investment for an experiment especially if it turned out well. And besides, I've been away from this blog for so long I wanted my next post (= this one) to be absolutely fabulous. I'd just gotten my fresh pasta rolling and shredding attachments a couple of days before, and hadnt tested it out yet. And just like that, the whole menu fell into place.
Appetizer: Stuffed and fried zucchini blossoms
Main course: Fresh egg pasta with Sicilian-styled eggplant
Dessert: Capuccino brownies
I don't really want to club too many recipes into one post so for starters I thought I'd go with the zucchini blossoms. A lot of googling didnt really help me find anything that I liked which really means that the fridge wasnt stocked up with those particular ingredients. I ended up just winging it, mish-mashing a bunch of different recipes. The result was delicious, light, crispy, faintly sweet coating with smooth, warm, herby, onion cheesy filling oozing out. I found that the spring onions really made the filling shine but feel free to use any combination of fresh herbs you like. So here goes:
8 zucchini blossoms
6 tbsps of cream cheese
A few sprigs of basil (chopped fine)
2 spring onions (chopped fine)
A pinch of salt and pepper
Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl. Reserve for later.
2 tbsp of Coca-cola (yes the drink! It was great!)
3 tbsp of all-purpose flour
3 tbsp of all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
Add coke into the flour+salt and mix but dont let the effervescence (little bubbles) die out.
Heat about 3 generous glugs of vegetable oil in a shallow pan, temperature should be about medium-high. Remove the pistil from the flowers (its conical and orangish, move the petals over and you can see it in the middle). Add a little of the cheese stuffing, twist the edges of the petals to seal, dip it into the batter and fry. Make sure one side is pale-golden brown before flipping over.