Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summertime Delights

One of my most favorite summertime treats is  squash blossoms.  If you've never tried one, seek them out.  Among the cultures that use them regularly are Mexican and Italian.  They are fried, stuffed, sauteed.  They are used in soups, omelettes, and just last week, Mark Bittman of the New York Times, wrote about using them in Risotto.

They are delicate and sublime.
I am pretty sure that once you taste them, you too will search for them every  summer.
I was fortunate enough that they were fresh and available at our Farmers Market yesterday morning. (I had seen them a few weeks earlier at a local vegetable market- they were neglected and wilted.)  You should plan on using them the day they are purchased.  Or if you are lucky enough to have a large plot of zucchini or pumpkins growing in your yard, the male flowers make the perfect feast with out devouring your crop.

I chose to stuff and fry yesterdays' bunch.  
Fried Squash Blossoms
1 dozen fresh squash blossoms
2 tablespoons pinenuts
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small onion minced
4 oz goat cheese, softened
1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs (I used oregano, parsley, and basil)
2 eggs- separated
1/2 cup rice flour
1 cup cold club soda
salt and pepper

Remove the piston from the flowers
(I do this with a pair of hobby tweezers, which I keep  in the kitchen, 
you'd be surprised how handy they are.)
Trim the stems leaving about 1/2 inch. Chop the re
maining stems finely and set aside.
Lightly toast the pinenuts in a pan. Remove and set aside.
Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan.
Saute garlic and onions until translucent. Add the chopped stems. Saute until softened.
Add the herbs and salt and pepper..  Give a few quick stirs. Allow to cool. 
In the mean time, cream the softened goat cheese.
Add one egg yolk. Mix well in a small bowl, with a spoon.
Add the cooled herb mixture. Mix well.
Now I usually place the mixture in a pastry bag.
This makes it easier to load the cheese into the flowers.
If you have none available, a ziploc with the corner cut off will work.
A spoon will suffice, but will be a little messier.
Squeeze about a tablespoon of filling into each flower top.

Gently twist the top closed.  Set all aside when finished, while the batter is made.
Heat about an inch of olive oil in the pan.

In a medium bowl, whip the two egg whites until very frothy.
Add the remaining egg yolk and rewhip.  Add the rice flour and blend until smooth.  Add a pinch each of salt and pepper. Slowly pour in the club soda and stir.  This should made a thin crepe like batter.
Dip the flower blossoms in and coat thoroughly.  

Carefully transfer to the oil and cook about1  minute on each side. Until golden.  Remove and drain on a paper towel.

Enjoy immensely as they are or with a tomato sauce.  
I will give a recipe tomorrow for a Roasted Tomato Sauce.

1 comment:

  1. These look delicious! I have both squash and pumpkins growing in my yard, so I think it's only appropriate that I give this a try!