Crispy Zucchini Flowers with Ricotta, Mint and Lemon Zest
I know I have been slack. But let’s not make excuses. There’s no other reason other than me being slack. On second note, for the next few days, Spatula, Spoon and Saturday is taking part in the Great Australian Internet Blackout hence why you may (or may not) notice that the main colour of this blog is now black.
So let’s get to it. We dropped by to visit Josh’s dad, Jim who has a bit of a green thumb. His partner, Judy, took us out to their veggie patch where I managed to get hold of some very nice zucchini flowers. I suspect they were relieved that I wanted the flowers because their zucchini plants were giving out massive number of zucchini.
Not only we scored zucchini flowers and zucchinis, we also got some of the best tasting strawberries, plums (seriously these plums are so fragrant and amazing), fresh onions, about five different varieties of tomatoes, lemons and cucumbers.
So this recipe being inspired by Guy Grossi, whom I saw making a dish similar to this at one of his cooking demonstrations, and vague recollection of his recipe cards, I came up with this.
- 8 zucchini flowers (the ones with young zucchini attached to them are nice)
- 200 g. ricotta
- 2 tbsp of soft goat cheese or curd
- 5 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- zest of 1 lemon *
- 1 red chilli, deseeded completely and finely chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
Whip all the ingredients together until the consistency is smooth and creamy – think a really thick yoghurt type consistency. Season with two pinches of salt and a few twists of black pepper. Place the ricotta mixture into a piping bag (or a freezer bag, or a zip lock bag and snip off a corner). Carefully open the flower and snip off its stamen (I vaguely remember something about it being bitter) and fill the flower with about one tablespoon of the filling. Don’t overfill or underfill it. Make sure the stuffing gets pushed down all the way to the bottom and there is no gap.
And for the batter:
- 1 cup of self raising flour
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- About half a bottle of beer (1/2 of 375 ml)
Add the salt to the flour and slowly add the beer and whisk until the batter is the consistency of whipping cream. Heat a saucepan or a wok large enough for the flowers on medium heat. Fill it with vegetable oil until the oil is about 3 inches deep. Once the oil is hot, dip a stuffed zucchini flower (I fried one at a time) into the batter and carefully deep fry until golden on both sides.
It is fiddly. But it’s worth it. In fact, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I thought it came out better than the one I had at the Guy Grossi’s cooking demonstration. Hehe.
* I am LOVING my new Microplane grater/zester. Oh yeah.