Last weekend, I happened to be near the Union Square greenmarket at the ungodly (for a Saturday, at least) hour of 6:30 a.m. right when all the farmers are setting up their stands for the day. Usually, I'll make it there by 11 or so, and all the particularly in-demand produce is long gone. Think rhubarb, garlic scapes, and the like. And so, I decided to take advantage of the situation and take a stroll through. When I spotted a bin full of bright golden orange zucchini blossoms at Lani's Farm, I jumped on them faster than I thought humanly possible pre-caffeine.
Zucchini blossoms have a fleeting season in the summer, but while they're here, I eat them often and with relish. I love frying them up plain and serving them to guests straight out of my cast iron pan, piping hot and ultra-crisp. Sometimes, I'll take the extra step to stuff them with ricotta cheese before laying them carefully into the hot oil, but only when I'm feeling fancy. This recipe, found on BonAppetit.com produces a perfect light batter. Happy summer, indeed. xo
Fried Zucchini Blossoms
Makes about 24 blossoms
Vegetable oil (for frying)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounce chilled Pilsner, lagerstyle beer, or club soda
Zucchini blossoms (stamens removed; about 2 dozen)
In a large pot, heat about 2" oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl, then whisk in beer until almost smooth (some small lumps are welcome—don't overwhisk or you'll deflate the batter). One by one, dredge the blossoms in batter, shaking off the excess; gently lay them in the oil, without crowding the pan. Cook, flipping once with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, 2–3 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with sea salt and devour while hot.