YIELD 4 appetizer portions
|8||large zucchini blossoms with 2 to 3 inch stems, intact if possible|
|1/2 cup||goat ricotta cheese|
|1/4 cup||Parmesan cheese|
|4 ounces||crab meat|
|1 teaspoon||kosher or sea salt, plus more for seasoning|
|1 cup||Instant or pastry flour|
|1 teaspoon||cayenne pepper|
|1/2 cup||seltzer water or club soda|
- Rinse blossoms gently, and dry on paper towels. In a small bowl mix the ricotta cheese, Parmesan, and nutmeg. Fold in the crabmeat until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Fill each blossom with about 1 ounce of the cheese mixture and carefully close the petals around cheese. Recipe can be prepared to this point one day ahead of time. Prepare the batter by combining flour, salt and cayenne pepper. Add flour mixture to the seltzer water and stir only until mixed. Batter may still be slightly lumpy, but almost smooth. If too pasty, add a teaspoon of seltzer at a time until mixture has the consistency of a pancake batter.
The chef offered this advice for handling squash blossoms:
- Whisk egg white until frothy in a shallow bowl. Gently stir into batter, mixing until combined. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add olive oil to generously cover bottom of pan. Carefully sauté the blossoms until golden brown on both sides and heated through. Drain on paper towels and serve hot. These are great with a simple fresh tomato sauce or just a drizzle of olive oil and a few shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.
If you're fortunate enough to have them in your own garden, pick them just before use, preferably at the full open stage.
If you're buying them, go straight home and stick the stems in a glass of cold water. Keep the blossoms cool - in the 'fridge if it's a hot day.
Before use, trim the stems to within 1 inch of the flowers.
If they're to be stuffed, pull out the stamenate portions - the fuzzy parts that stick up in the center of the flower.
You may leave the miniature squash attached to the female flowers, or snap them off and use them separately.
Wash the flowers by dipping them gently into a basin of water. Let them drain upside-down on paper towels. When it's time to stuff, fry or steam them, and work quickly.
If the flowers are closed, blow into the center of the petal cluster to open them up. The less you handle them, the better.
Editor's Note: Look for organic cheese, sustainable crab, and organic, locally-grown produce.
Learn more about sustainable food choices with our Eat Green Guide.
This recipe was featured in the Artisan Goat Cheese Episode of Emeril Green.
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