24 February 2007

Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Feta & Mint

During my life-altering 5 week sojourn to Greece in the Spring of 2006 I saw stuffed zucchini blossoms on the menu intermittently in the tavernas and on the meze tables.

Understandably they were also very popular so they were always sold out everywhere I went. Finally, we made this droolworthy dish at Aglaia's cooking classes on the island of Kea in Greece. Keartisanal The recipe can be found in her cookbook "The Foods of the Greek Islands, Cooking and Culture at the Crossroads of the Mediterranean." Aglaia Kremezi is a Julia Child award-winning cookbook author, who with her husband Costas Moraitis and friends, run their cooking school to the delight of anyone who wants to experience Greece as the locals do with plenty of other memorable moments... hiking to ancient ruins, snorkelling in the blue azure of the Agean Sea, diving into the crystal clear waters and dancing to the strains of the Bazouka with an endless sea in the background.

The photo is of our future delicacy picked fresh from Aglaia's extensive vegetable and herb gardens.

"Kolokithanthi Gemisti, Tiganiti" (Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Feta and Mint)

12 zucchini blossoms
2 oz feta cheese, cut into 12 pieces
12 large fresh mint leaves, plus 1 - 2 sprigs for garnish
1 cup flour
2/3 cup warm water
1 large egg
3 T ouzo
1 T olive oil
1 tsp Aleppo pepper or pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
olive oil and safflower oil for frying

1. One at a time, carefully open each zucchini blossom and insert 1 piece of cheese and 1 mint leaf. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours (the blossoms can be stuffed ahead).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, water, eggs, ouzo, oil, pepper or pepper flakes and salt.
In a large deep skillet, heat about 1-1/2-inches of a combination of olive oil and safflower oil over medium-high heat to 350F.

2. In batches, carefully dip each stuffed blossom into the batter, turning to coat on all sides, and fry, turning, until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve at once, garnished with the mint sprigs.

Note: Aglaia says, "The blossoms have a tendency to close up. To keep them open, place them upside down on the work surface as you proceed, as my friend Katernina Vassiliadou taught me. She learned the trick from her mother, an excellent Santorini cook".

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful experience that must have been - a cooking course in Greece. THe recipe sounds delicious! I love zucchini blossoms and also had the chance to make them (stuffed with ricotta) while I was on a cooking course in Umbria. At home, we usually make them fried in batter.


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