Tempura Zucchini Blossoms
Source: Margo True, Sunset Magazine
We came up with this recipe as a way to control the crazy productivity of our pattypan squash plants. Eat the blossom and the squash can’t form. It’s just as good (and works as well) with zucchini blossoms, too.
Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey wheat beer or other wheat beer
½ cup Sonora whole-wheat flour* or whole wheat pastry flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
12 zucchini blossoms, about 3-inches each
¼ cup mild fresh goat cheese, mixed with 2 teaspoons minced chives**
- Add enough oil to a medium saucepan so that it comes 2-inches up the sides of the pan. Heat until oil registers 350° to 375° on a deep-fry or candy thermometer.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water, whisk together beer, flour, and ¼ teaspoon salt, stopping when the batter is almost, but not, quite smooth.
- Brush any debris off squash blossoms and stuff each with ⅓ to ⅔ teaspoon cheese, depending on size of blossom (you want to leave enough room so that the blossom closes easily).
- Dip a few stuffed blossoms in batter to coat, then fry, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining blossoms, dipping and frying a few at a time. Sprinkle blossoms with more salt if you like and serve immediately.
* Sonora wheat is a low-protein flour being grown by several Bay Area farmers including Pie Ranch and Full Belly. It’s comparable to whole-wheat pastry flour, which you can use instead; find it at well-stocked grocery stores. Or use equal parts regular flour and cake flour.
**We made our own fresh cow’s milk cheese and mixed it with chives, but any mild, creamy cheese works.