Now that we’ve found the farmers market in Laguna Hills, sometimes James stops by after the acupuncturist. Unfortunately, on Friday our bubble was burst, as we thought that all stands were selling organic produce. Not so! Very sad. But there are some organic stalls there and we try to support them.
I have no idea if these zucchini flowers were from an organic source, or not, but they were beautiful. I’ve already mentioned our friend Troy, and I’d helped him stuff some zucchini flowers before, but he had a deep-fat fryer, which I don’t. I decided to go for it anyway.
I found some herbed chevre and a recipe for the batter and went to town. I must admit, they turned out awesome for my first try, and I can’t wait to do them again! We served them as a side dish alongside one of our many chickens-under-a-brick, but these would be an awesome vegetarian main dish. Vegans, use a tofu ricotta and I’m sure it will turn out super delicious. Here’s my favorite recipe from my favorite vegan chef, Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
Fried Goat-Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sparkling mineral water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 small round of herb-covered chevre cheese
1 green onion, chopped fine, including green ends
1 handful arugula, chopped fine
1 Tbsp milk or soy creamer
6 large or 12 small zucchini blossoms, gently washed
Freshly ground black pepper
Oil for frying
Mix the first three ingredients together with a whisk until there are no lumps. Refrigerate until needed.
Mix the next four ingredients together until well combined. Add more milk if it seems too thick; add black pepper to taste. Take a plastic storage bag (doesn’t have to be a Ziploc) and get the cheese mixture all down into one corner. Carefully cut the tip off the end—it will be like a pastry bag to fill the flowers with.
Delicately open the end of the flower and shove your jerry-rigged pastry bag in as far as it will go without tearing the flower and let ‘er rip. Twist the end of the flower like a candy wrapper to keep the cheese inside. Set aside and fill the rest.
Take the batter out of the fridge, and get the oil heating in a deep-sided frying pan. Once the oil is nice and hot (I usually put a little batter in to see how fast it starts bubbling), dip the flowers in the batter, get them nice and covered and let the excess drip off. Quickly repeat to get them in the hot oil as fast as possible, and rotate as they start getting brown. This would obviously be easier in a deep-fat fryer, but alas, space does not permit.
Once they are browned on all sides, drain them on paper towel and serve while hot. Do be careful—I know it seems obvious that the cheese inside will be piping hot, but I’m adding this so I’m not sued if someone gets burned with “napalm” cheese.
If you are serving this as a vegetarian main course, they would do nicely with a marinara sauce to top them off with. Otherwise, they are a stunning appetizer or side dish that is sure to impress any guest.