I had been craving zucchini blossoms for weeks and could not find them at all. It always blows me away when I can’t fin something in NYC. I mean seriously, this is NYC how could it not have XYZ?!? Specially food stuff. Why can’t I just reach for puntarelle, zucchini blossoms, chestnuts, preserved lemons, vin jaune, pain poilâne, vegan crème fraîche, ok maybe that last one is pushing it a little but you get what I saying.
Anyway, I finally found zucchini blossoms last weekend at the Grand Army plaza market. This is what came of it.
(sorry for the crappy photo, there was no light left at all)
For the Fava Beans
- 1.5 kg (3 pounds) unshelled young fresh fava beans
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) garlic scapes, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup water
- black pepper, freshly ground
- lemon juice
Shell, blanch and peel the fava beans.
Sauté the garlic scapes in the oil until for a minute. Stir in beans, add water and simmer, covered, for 8 to 12 minutes until the beans are tender.
Add salt and pepper, turn up the heat and cook uncovered until the last of the water has evaporated.
Remove from heat and reserve.
For the stuffed zucchini blossoms
- 18 zucchini blossoms
- 350 ml (12 oz) beer
- 75 ml (5 Tbsp) flour
- 15 ml (1 Tbsp) corn starch
- 60 gr (2 oz) firm tofu
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- one recipe of vegan ricotta
- vegetable oil for frying
Trim the stems, remove the pistils and very gently wash and dry of the zucchini blossoms.
Prepare the batter by combining the beer, flour, tofu and salt and pepper. Process in a high power blender until creamy. Keep aside.
Use a pastry bag (or a small ziplock) to fill the blossoms with cheese. Reserve.
Heat the oil to 175ºC (350ºF).
One by one, dip each stuffed blossoms in the batter and drop them in the hot oil. Fry in small batches until golden brown.
Put a few spoonfuls of beans on each plates. Drizzle with more olive oil and lemon juice. Top with blossoms. Serve right away.
Yields 6 mains or 10 appetizers.
I would suggest a dry Italian white. Be adventurous, move away from the standard Pinot Grigio and try an herbal Sauvignon Blanc from Friuli, a more floral Vernaccia di San Gimignano or a crisp, mineral and citrusy Vermentino or Trebbiano d’Abruzzo instead.