Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
The delicate and beautiful zucchini flower was once discarded by many… can you imagine? This is a real stand-alone dish, no accompaniments required — just a glass of wine and an appetite. — Vicky Valsamis, author of The Vegetable: Recipes That Celebrate Nature
- 1 Cup corn starch
- 1/2 Cup self-rising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 1/2 Cup iced water
- 5 Ounces fresh ricotta
- 1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 3 Tablespoons chopped basil
- 3 Tablespoons chopped dill
- 1/2 Cup finely grated pecorino
- 1/2 Teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
- 20 baby zucchini, with flowers attached
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Place the corn starch, flour, and iced water in a bowl, mixing with a spoon until just combined but still a bit lumpy. Allow to stand for 15 minutes.
In another bowl, place the ricotta, lemon zest, basil, dill, pecorino, pepper, and salt. Mix together with a spoon.
Using a teaspoon, gently spoon the ricotta mixture into each zucchini flower, then twist the petals around to enclose the filling.
Fill a deep, medium-sized saucepan with about 5–6 centimeters (2 inches) vegetable oil. Place over high heat until hot.
Meanwhile, spread some extra flour on a flat plate. Dust each zucchini with the flour, setting them aside on a tray until the oil is heated through.
One by one, dip each floured zucchini into the batter, then carefully lower into the hot oil and cook in small batches, four or five at a time, for 2 minutes, or until the batter is golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot.
Recipe excerpted from The Vegetable: Recipes That Celebrate Nature by Caroline Griffiths and Vicky Valsamis (Smith Street Books, 2017)