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Deep-Fried Zucchini Flowers with Fontina and Basil, Served with a Blackberry and Balsamic Reduction

        Lifestyle | Vegetable Side Dish

Deep-Fried Zucchini Flowers with Fontina and Basil, Served with a Blackberry and Balsamic Reduction

Deep-Fried Zucchini Flowers with Fontina and Basil, Served with a Blackberry and Balsamic Reduction

Episode 87: Melissa's Menu

Yield

Serves 4

Ingredients

6 ounces/170 g fresh blackberries
1/4 cup/50 ml balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon/15 g superfine sugar
Canola oil, for deep-frying
1 1/4 cups/260 ml cold water
4 ice cubes
1 1/2 cups/205 g all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
12 baby zucchini with blossoms
6 ounces/170 g Fontina cheese, cut into 12 small squares
12 fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy-based, medium-sized saucepan and cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes, pressing down on the berries with a metal spoon, or until the berries are smashed and the juices thicken slightly. The mixture will bubble vigorously as it cooks, so be sure to use a saucepan that will contain it and prevent it from spilling over.
  2. Remove from the heat and press the mixture through a fine sieve with the metal spoon and into a small saucepan. Discard the seeds. Set the reduction aside and keep warm.
  3. Fill a large frying pan or wok about halfway with the oil and heat the oil over medium heat to 375°F/190°C. Combine the water and ice in a measuring cup.
  4. Place 1 1/2 cups/205 g of flour in a large bowl and gradually pour in the ice water, mixing constantly until moistened and a few lumps remain in the batter. Be careful not to overwork the batter because the less the batter is mixed, the crispier the coating will be.
  5. Cut the blossoms from the zucchini. Cut the zucchini lengthwise in half. Wrap each piece of cheese with a basil leaf. Place 1 wrapped piece of cheese into each zucchini blossom and gently twist the blossoms at the top to enclose the cheese and basil.
  6. Dust the zucchini and stuffed blossoms with some flour. Working in batches, dip the zucchini pieces and blossoms into the batter.  Then deep-fry them in the oil for about 3 minutes, turning and submerging them with a slotted metal spoon so that they cook evenly and become very pale golden and crisp all over.
  7. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the fried zucchini and blossoms to paper towels to drain the excess oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Arrange the fried blossoms and zucchini pieces on a platter. Drizzle with some of the blackberry reduction. Pour any remaining blackberry reduction in a small bowl and serve alongside the zucchini.

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