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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ligurian Squash Blossoms

We've had an abundance of blossoms this year and the fried squash blossoms are a treat that we've been battered with quite a few times. To prevent a revolt, I googled "fiori di zucca -ricette" or squash flower recipes in Italian and a slew of new ideas appeared.

My attempt was based on a Ligurian recipe for stuffed baked squash blossoms that can be found here:

Mine are an anemic echo of those gorgeous pictures. But they were extremely tasty and creamy .... due to the fact I used a blender instead of a food mill and I did not cook it down. They would have been perfect battered and fried  as a contrast to the creamy interior.

Sigh. I can't win.

400 gr new potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
150 gr green beans, cleaned 
150 gr zucchini, cut into chunks
60 gr Parmigiano
Clove garlic
1 egg
Handful fresh basil, minced
Olive oil (add to basil after mincing to prevent oxidation and it will be used for drizzling over the prepared stuffed flowers.)

Salt and pepper to taste

In salted water, bring potatoes to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add green beans, cook for about 2 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until tender. 

Don't be afraid of overcoooking a little bit. I was shocked in Italy when I saw the vigorous cooking applied to different food and the taste was amazing. Have no fear about a few going over the time.

Drain the vegetables when cooked and throw them into the blender when slightly cooled, along with the cheese and garlic.  This will give the smooth creamy texture - which is a huge mistake if you are aiming for light fluffy mashed potatoes and the original recipe used a food mill so the texture is probably supposed to be more rustic.

 Taste and add salt and pepper. Add the egg and minced basil/oil. Let the mixture cool before stuffing flowers. 

Prepare flowers by removing the stamen and little green appendages on the side. They look like spikes at the base of the petals.

Stuff the flowers. This is the most difficult part. Put the mixture into a ziploc bag, cut off the corner and pipe stuffing into each flower.

Gently twist the flowers close and lay on parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.

Serve once they have cooled.

Can't lie - they were delicious and creamy but looked nothing like the other pictures and were not true to the original recipe. I don't think creamy was the intent.

But you too can have a delicious anemic looking echo of authenticity if you follow my recipe path. Even mistakes can be delightful.