Fried Pumpkin Blossoms With Feta
As soon as I saw fried zucchini blossoms in the July issue of Bon Appetit, I was determined to make them. Nature and timing seemed to be working against me though because I couldn't find zucchini blossoms at the farmers market for a few weeks. One time I saw the empty bin where they should have been -- but that was as close as I got to finding the blossoms until my most recent trip to the Central Square Farmers Market.
I caught a glimpse of orange peeking out of a bin at one of the farm stands and ran right over to ask if what I was looking at were zucchini blossoms. The vendor informed me they were pumpkin blossoms and that they were basically the same thing. I was mildly disappointed that I hadn't found zucchini blossoms, but if pumpkin blossoms were pretty much the same thing, I figured they would work just as well. I bought a dozen for $4 and spent the rest of the day dreaming about frying them up.
Back at home, I went through and snipped the stamens out of each one -- which is really a more frustrating task than it needs to be. I ended up tearing some of the blossoms in the process. Luckily that doesn't matter because you can basically "glue" them back together with the batter.
I followed the recipe in Bon Appetit but only made a half batch and made one small change: I stuffed my pumpkin blossoms with small pieces of feta cheese. I figured they were already fried, so I might as well take them over the top with the addition of cheese! You can leave them unstuffed or just stuff half of them if you like.
Fried Pumpkin Blossoms With Feta (adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2011)
Vegetable oil (for frying)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces chilled club soda
12 small pieces feta (small rectangular strips fit best inside the blossoms)
12 pumpkin (or zucchini) blossoms, stamens removed
In a Dutch oven, heat 1 to 2 inches oil to 350 degrees.
Combine flour and salt in a small bowl, and whisk in the club soda just until combined. (Do not mix too much or you'll deflate the batter. We're going for a light batter.)
Place a piece of feta inside each blossom, and gently twist the top of the blossom.
Start with three or four blossoms. One at a time, dredge each blossom in the batter, making sure to keep the blossom closed, and carefully place it in the oil. (If you're not stuffing the blossoms, just dredge them and let the tops spread open.)
Fry three or four blossoms at a time, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
Transfer the blossoms to a plate lined with paper towels, and sprinkle them with sea salt.
Repeat with remaining blossoms.
These crispy, salty blossoms would make a perfect appetizer or summer snack.
Is there anything you keep searching for but keep missing out on at the farmers market?