Deep-Fried Zucchini Flowers with Fontina and Basil, Served with a Blackberry and Balsamic Reduction
Episode 87: Melissa's Menu
|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|
|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|
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Using the slotted spoon, transfer the fried zucchini and blossoms to paper towels to drain the excess oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- 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.
Check out more recipes for Vegetable Side Dish