Monday, April 09, 2007

Squash Blossoms from Nize & Barbara's Garden

Michael's squash blossom recipe...

For about a dozen of Nize & Barbara's squash blossoms.

It looks more complicated than it is -- the whole thing can be thrown together in a couple stages, each taking a few minutes.

First, the filling. With a fork, mix the following:
  • 4 oz of mild goat cheese (ile de france works well)
  • a bunch of minced "sweet" herbs -- parsley, basil, chervil, minced
  • a handful of toasted green pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) toasted in a skillet until they pop (delicious snack!)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • a splash of heavy cream to soften the mix
Stuff the blossoms with a tablespoon or so of the cold filling. You can roll it into balls and just poke them into the blossoms. Twist the top of the blossom closed. Chill the blossoms until they are firm.

Now, you can do one of two things:

1) Once they're chilled, warm some nice olive oil or butter in a large skillet, and saute the filled blossoms until they go all golden. Serve on a bed of lettuce or cress with a French vinaigrette (1 part vinegar/citrus juice + 3 parts olive oil). Tasty and very easy. They make a perfect appetizer or even finger food.

2) If you want to go all fancy, mix up a batch of tempura: One egg, one cup of ice-cold water, one cup of all-purpose flour. Dump all these ingredients in a wide bowl, and use a chopstick to mix them batter. You want to incorporate all the dry ingredients but keep some lumps.

Over medium heat, warm a deep skillet full of peanut oil (or other oil, but it's the South, so use peanut oil!) to about 350 degrees. (Depending on how heavy your pan is, this may take a few minutes: A pinch of flour will immediately dance in the oil when it's hot enough). Quickly dunk your squash blossom into the batter, let it drain back into the batter a bit (it should be very well covered still), and toss it into the hot oil with it for a couple of minutes. Tempura should never brown, but the batter should be slightly crispy.

Serve them, as below, on a bed of mixed greens or cress or nasturium blooms and leaves and some vinaigrette.

You'll have a lot of batter left over. and while the oil is hot, consider frying up some of B & N's other tasty veg, like green beans or collard greens or pea shoots. Dunk them all in the batter and toss them into the oil. Kids will love them dipped in soya sauce.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

You ARE the Master!