If you have known me for any length of time (usually 5 minutes will be sufficient) you learn that I love to cook! My favorites are usually italian using the freshest ingredients I can find. Mozzerella. Marinara. Basil. Ricotta. My mouth is watering already!
Last month I visited my friend’s darling home and organic farm in Indiana. I had a wonderful time picking fresh produce from the garden, sharing our hearts over a cup of tea, hanging out with her family, snuggling with the newborn kittens and trying new things.
Kate was my first friend when I moved to Indiana. Right after graduating from college I accepted a position in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I didn’t know a soul and I e-mailed Kate to learn more about a young adult group she was leading. We met up and our love for tea, crafts and cooking made us fast friends. Since moving back to Wisconsin we’ve stayed connected. Whenever I’m near Indiana I make a stop at Kate’s for some much needed refreshment.
Kate and I were adventerers together and tried our hands at ricotta-stuffed pumpkin flowers. It’s a bit putzy but once you’ve had a bit it will be worth it all! I used a recipe for stuffed Zucchini and substituted pumpkin flowers for the Zuchini blossoms.
18 large pumpkin, stems intact
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Canola oil for frying
Fried fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs for serving (optional)
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Remove the stamen from the center of each blossom. Gently wash and pat dry the blossoms. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the ricotta into the center of each blossom. Twist the tips of the petals closed and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour and fine sea salt. Add the olive oil, egg, and 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml.) water and whisk to make a batter.
Pour the canola oil into a deep saute pan to a depth of 2 inches (5 cm.). Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) on a deep-frying thermometer. One at a time, gently slip the stuffed blossoms into the batter and turn to coat evenly. Using a slotted spatula, lift the blossoms from the batter, allowing the excess to drip off, and carefully lower into the hot oil. Fry in batches of 4 or 5, spacing them about 1 inch (2.5 cm.) apart and turning once if needed to brown evenly, until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Using the spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain.