Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A blossom

I guess at this point, for those of you that have been regular readers, have concluded I am a bit pre-occupied with all things floral. Admittedly, I am. They are like the bow on nature’s package – frilly, colorful and out right flirtatious. However, there are some flowers that don’t give off a fragrant calling card or request to be cuttings for the center of dining table.

Zucchini blossoms are simply adorable with the mildest of flavors, yet it offers itself as a vehicle to be stuffed or floated in a citrus spiked chicken soup like a lotus blossom in a coy pond. As with all flowers it offers a dramatic view on a plate.

They need a little preparation – their stamen must carefully be removed before stuffing or cooking further. It has a bitter taste. Gently tease open the petals of the blossom and remove the stamen. If you are all thumbs, and end up shedding the delicate petals use tweezers to get in and pluck the stamen from the blossom base. That is basically the extent of the prep required on the blossom – simple yet ever so dexterous.

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms – yields 12
12 zucchini blossoms – stamen carefully removed
6 ounces goat cheese
1/4-cup chives - chopped
1 tablespoon oregano - leaves only, chopped
1 shallot- minced
3 garlic cloves - minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 egg whites
1/8-cup olive oil
1/2-cup breadcrumbs

In a work bowl mix together the goat cheese, chives, oregano, shallot, garlic, salt and pepper to thoroughly combine.

Gently open the zucchini blossom and add about a tablespoon to each, and then twist the top of the blossom closed.

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a work bowl whisk together the egg whites and olive oil – then drunk the stuffed blossoms in the egg mixture and then dredge in the breadcrumbs. Place the blossoms on a lightly oil baking tray. Repeat with the remaining zucchini blossoms.

Cook in the oven for 7 to10 minutes. Serve hot.

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