We have loved stuffed squash blossoms when we first encountered them on our trips to Italy. We always had an abundance of zucchini growing in our vegetable garden, and stuffed squash blossoms were always a treat. With all the great produce we have available at the Farmers' Market in Santa Barbara, we have decided to just grow herbs.
"Fiore de zuca" are a delicacy in Italy. They can be lightly battered and fried in olive oil, and also stuffed with fresh ricotta and parsley, or goat cheese, or sausage. They can also be fried and dusted with powdered sugar and served as dessert. One of my favorite Italian cook book writers, Marcella Hazan. suggests making a pastella, the Italian secret batter, which is one of the best batters we have ever tasted.
A pastella is made in the following manner. "Put a cup of water in a soup plate, and gradually add 2/3 cup of all purpose unbleached flour, sifting it through a sieve as you constantly beat the mixture until all the flour has been incorporated. The batter should have the consistency of sour cream." (From the Classic Italian Cook Book, by Marcella Hazan)
Once you have tried pastella, it will be a "revelation" and an yummy alternative to the usual heavy spongy batter." It needs to be made fresh each time you are going to use it, it does not keep. It can be used with onion rings, arichoke heatrs, aspargus, and antything else you would want to batter.
Enjoy, Cheers, Ron & Alexandra
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