A few weeks ago I noticed that one of my neighborhood groceries was beginning to sell zucchini blossoms, which were tied together in bouquets. I knew that zucchini blossoms are coveted by foodies, but I hadn’t tried them. My birthday was a perfect excuse to experiment with something so special. I found this recipe in The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen, which is the newest cookbook in my household. This book explores delicate and appropriate things to do with a spectrum of cheeses. This pairing here of goat cheese and citrus honey was simply lovely and elegant. They were so delicious.
The original recipe calls for “tomme de ma grande-mere” goat cheese, which literally means “cheese as grandmother makes it” and is made just south of France’s Loire Valley. I failed to find that specific variety of goat cheese, and substituted a standard option of goat cheese. For the citrus flower honey, I found an unopened jar of orange flower honey in the pantry which was packed with a big piece of honeycomb inside the jar.
This recipe calls for more batter than what is needed for this amount of flowers. You might want to think of other things to fry in this Italian fritto-misto style. You might also want to use a little less oil for frying.
FRIED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS STUFFED WITH GOAT CHEESE AND DRIZZLED WITH CITRUS HONEY
12-14 very fresh zucchini blossoms
10-12 ounces Tomme de Ma Grande-mere or other young fresh goat cheese
1 cup ice water
2 cups canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
citrus flower honey, for dipping or drizzling
Brush the zucchini blossoms with a pastry brush to remove any sand. Gently reach inside each one with the tips of your fingers and remove the pistil of the flower, being careful not to tear the flower. Stuff each blossom with goat cheese. An easy way to stuff them is to pipe them using a ziploc bag. (Fill the bag with cheese, cut off the bottom corner of the bag, and squeeze out to pipe). Twist the flowers closed at the ends.
To prepare the batter, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg with the ice water. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add more ice cold water if necessary to form a thick batter similar to a crepe batter. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat the canola oil to 350F/180C over medium heat. I recommend a wok or another similar pan with a narrow bottom for this. Dip the stuffed blossoms in the batter two or three at a time. Fry for about 2 minutes, or until light golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve with the honey.