Crisp Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed With Goat Cheese

Makes 4 appetizer-size servings.

Note: Ground sumac has a hint of sourness; as a substitute mix grated lemon zest with black pepper. From Yotam Ottolenghi.

• 1 tbsp. ground sumac, divided

• Boiling water

• 1/4 c. ricotta

• 3 tbsp. soft goat cheese

• 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

• 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts

• 1 lemon, finely grated to get 1 tbsp. zest, then cut into wedges

• Flaky sea salt and black pepper

• 8 zucchini blossoms

• About 1 1/2 c. sunflower oil, for frying

• Scant 1/2 c. flour

• 1/8 tsp. baking soda

• 1/3 c. plus 1 tbsp. ice-cold sparkling or soda water

Directions

In a medium bowl, cover 3/4 tablespoon of the sumac with 1 tablespoon of boiling water and allow to infuse for 5 minutes. Add ricotta, goat cheese, oregano, walnuts, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a generous grind of pepper. Mix well.

Fill the flowers by carefully opening them and either spooning or piping about a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture into each, gently pushing the filling all the way to the bottom of each blossom but being careful not to fill them too much; if you can get someone to hold the flower open for you, it would make it much easier. Gently twist the tips of the petals to secure the filling inside and set aside until you are ready to fry.

Pour enough oil into a medium (about 8-inch) nonstick frying pan so that the oil rises about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Place on a high heat for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down a fraction.

Meanwhile, mix the flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the sparkling water, whisking continuously to form a smooth batter.

When bubbles start to surface in the oil, test it by dropping some batter into the oil: if it sizzles, you are ready. (The oil should hover between 320 and 350 degrees.)

Lower a zucchini blossom into the batter, turning to coat completely, before carefully placing in the hot oil. Repeat, cooking a few blossoms at a time, adjusting the temperature between batches so they take about 30 seconds on each side to turn a golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and then sprinkle with salt and the remaining 1/4 tablespoon sumac. Serve at once with the lemon wedges alongside.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 240 Protein 5 g Fat 20 g Cholesterol 10 mg Sodium 70 mg

Carbohydrates 11 g Total sugars 1 g Saturated fat 4 g Dietary fiber 2 g

 

 

Braised Eggs With Zucchini, Feta and Lemon

Serves 3.

Note: From Yotam Ottolenghi.

• 2 lemons, divided

• 1/3 c. olive oil

• 3 small garlic cloves, crushed with the back of a knife

• 1 red chile pepper (such as serrano), roughly chopped (and de-seeded if you do not like heat)

• Flaky sea salt

• 1 1/3 lb. zucchini, thinly sliced on a mandoline

• 2 leaves rainbow chard (about 3 oz.), thinly sliced

• 2 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh chives

• 2 tbsp. fresh dill

• 1/3 c. roughly crumbled feta

• 6 eggs

• 6 zucchini blossoms, stemmed, halved lengthwise

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1/4 tsp. Aleppo pepper (or 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes)

Directions

Take 1 lemon and use a vegetable peeler to remove 4 strips of zest. Squeeze the lemon to get 1 tablespoon juice, then set aside.

Add the oil, garlic, chopped red chile pepper, lemon zest strips and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a large, preferably nonstick sauté pan (for which you have a lid) set over medium heat. Gently fry for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until the oil begins to bubble. (Turn the heat down to medium-low if the oil bubbles too quickly.) Decrease the heat to low, add the zucchini slices (not the blossoms) and continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often, until the zucchini slices are very tender and beginning to brown. Stir in the chard and cook for another few minutes, until wilted.

Drain the zucchini and chard over a saucepan to collect the oil, then return the vegetables to the sauté pan. Stir in the herbs, reserved lemon juice and feta. Create 6 hollows with the back of a spoon and carefully break an egg into each hollow (take care not to break the yolks). Lay the zucchini blossoms around the eggs and drizzle them with a teaspoon of the reserved frying oil. Cover the pan with the lid and cook for 4 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat, until the whites are almost set and the yolks are still runny (the eggs will continue cooking once uncovered and taken off the heat).

While the eggs cook, add the butter to the reserved oil and gently heat until beginning to brown and bubble, then drizzle over the eggs when they are done. Sprinkle with the Aleppo chile and a good pinch of salt and serve hot with juice from the remaining lemon squeezed on top.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 290 Fat 19 g Sodium 430 mg Carbohydrates 13 g Saturated fat 8 g Total sugars 8 g Protein 18 g Cholesterol 400 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 2 medium-fat protein, 2 fat.