Friday, July 11, 2014

FFWD ~ Shrimp-Filled Zucchini Blossoms

FFWD ~ Shrimp-Filled Zucchini Blossoms

Our recipe this week, for French Fridays, is Shrimp Filled Zucchini Blossoms. I thought for sure, I would be passing on these Squash Blossoms. I have been growing zucchini for at least 8 years. Usually my plants thrive during the spring and early summer, filled with glorious blooms. Not this year! This year, my plants picked up some sort of blight. I checked with several local farm stands, and was told they experienced the same problem. I was losing any hope of finding the blossoms I needed for this recipe. 

One of the very beautiful farms we have here in the Garden State
Zucchini
Then as I was driving home from town, I passed another farm with a sign out front that read...Zucchini! Hmmm..logic tells me, if they have zucchini, they have blossoms!  I drove up to the barn, where I saw a farmer working. His name was Greg, and even though he was quite busy, he was quite friendly and accommodating.  He told me he had never picked blossoms before, although he would be happy to pick some for me in the morning. Since he had never picked them, I wanted him to know to pick the blossoms that would not bear fruit. An Italian girlfriend of mine tutored me on picking squash blossoms correctly years ago. 
Yesterday, I went to pick up my freshly picked squash blossoms. How lucky can you be? He had picked me a dozen! Thank you Greg…I truly appreciate your taking time out of your busy day to pick these blossoms for me! 
  
This sweet little farm stand is serve yourself, honor system…
My fresh picked blossoms
The blossoms were easy to prepare, first making a tempura batter of flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, and finally whisking in a cup of club soda. 
Take each blossom and wipe with a damp paper towel, opening the blossom carefully, pulling out the pistils and stamens. This was tricky. I used a small paring knife and still tore a few. No problem! When they are filled and dipped in the batter, they will be fine.  Place a whole cleaned and deveined shrimp into each flower, then lightly twist the top of the blossom. Dip into the tempura and fry in about ½ inch of peanut oil (I used olive), till golden on both sides. I also chose to fill some of mine with a ricotta filling. A cup of ricotta cheese, one egg yolk and a few tablespoons of chopped herbs, salt and pepper all whisked together.  Yummy!
For years, as I picked the blossoms with my girlfriend, I’ve wanted to give them a try. However, I never thought anyone (Bill) would eat them. I was wrong! I made these in the late afternoon and served them as a lovely afternoon snack! They were quite delicious! Bill loved the shrimp filled blossoms, and even tried and enjoyed the ones filled with ricotta. Wonders never cease!! Happy Friday everyone!  

This recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, “Around My French Table”,  here at google books or at my friend Diane’s blog Simple Living. To see what the other Doristas did with this one, check it out here.

Fresh shrimp
Ricotta filling
Frying up the blossoms
Ready to eat…In the middle some leftover shrimp I fried up

A delightful afternoon treat!
The taste of summer…these delicate petals hold so much flavor
Crisp, Earthy, and delectable!!



32 comments:

  1. Wow! GORGEOUS photos!! I hypothesize that it's impossible to dislike fried zucchini flowers. The fact that Bill AND Charlie both enjoyed these proves it.

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  2. I love that story, Kathy! It's amazing how accommodating some people can be.
    Those farms/ farm stands look very much like the ones up here.

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  3. I tried, I really did, but I could not find any blossoms in Pa. I will definitely keep trying for sure, because
    I did grow them once before when we lived in NJ, and they are wonderful. And, that was without shrimp.
    Hope to be back soon, have quite a few make-ups on hold. Your flowers look so delicious.

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  4. What a wonderful farmer picking the blossoms for you. Yours look absolutely gorgeous. If this wasn't a FFWD recipe I don't think I would have been able to get my family to try them. Thanks to Dorie my family now eats all kinds of strange and wonderful foods.

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  5. Yes, a great story and a nice farmer. I bet those blossoms were the best being fried the same day they were picked. I am still on the hunt for blossoms.

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  6. I want to try the ricotta filling, too! YUM! And what a lucky break to find those fresh blossoms!!!

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  7. Hi Kathy!
    So sorry to hear about that blight. I was just reading about it today. I didn't think it reached NJ yet. If there are any plants "still kicking" you might want to try the aspirin therapy. (two un-coated aspirins in a gallon of water and spray:) I'm not sure if it will work but it's worth a try. I read that if the zucchini and cukes get it there's a good chance the tomatoes will too if they are planted near by.

    I have stuffed blossoms with many things but never would I think to stuff them with shrimp! How enticing and from the looks of it, delicious too. How sweet of that farmer to be so generous. You might want to save one for him, lol...Who knows, now that he knows how to pick the right ones, he may be able to sell the blossoms separately. (Farmers need all the extra they can get:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Kathy...

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    Replies
    1. Louise, I will be giving this a try today! I just don’t know what happened this year…it’s so disappointing! Thanks for the info!

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  8. I love the shrimp filling! These blossoms look mouthwatering.
    Have to get some too from our local farmer market.

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  9. I lovd this recipe Kathy look awesome.
    Here is difficult find blossoms !
    These loom really delicious!

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  10. Great story & great photos! How nice of the farmer to help you out!
    Have a lovely weekend!

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  11. I can't wait to try making this for a fancy gourmet dinner party :D
    Lovely!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  12. Your blossoms look lovely - and it's a win that Bill enjoyed them too.

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  13. Now THAT's a great neighbor! Where I grew up in Vermont we also had a neighborhood farm stand which operated on the honor system. Sounds like you might need to start visiting Greg on a regular basis.

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    Replies
    1. I actually buy quite a bit of my produce from him over the summer…their corn is the best!

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  14. Gorgeous! I have ten sitting in my fridge that I have yet to use. Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

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  15. I'm jealous that you found the flowers, Kathy. Both the shrimp and ricotta filling look fabulous. And what an elegant snack. Sounds like a perfect summer day. (Excited to see you next weekend!)

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  16. These are beautiful! I love fried zucchini blossoms and sometimes they aren't that attractive but yours are. I love both fillings too. Glad that Bill approved. :)

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  17. What a delicious dinner and a rare find you discovered with the kind farmer. Your zucchini blossoms turned out so pretty!

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  18. I can't wait to try these and I am glad you mentioned using olive oil. I really prefer the flavor it imparts! Can't wait to get some blossoms at the farmers market this week! ~ David

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  19. There's nothing like having the help of an individual farmer - or any small business owner. The hands-on touch is always appreciated.
    I'm glad this recipe was a hit in your household!

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  20. Delicious:) You did a terrific job. I need to head out tomorrow to the farmer's market to get some and make these.

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  21. Your blossoms look beautiful and delicious! I hope my garden pulls through because I really want to try this recipe.

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  22. Wow, Kathy, these look fantastic, just beautiful. Thanks for the tips and thank you also for the ricotta suggestion. I've yet to find zucchini blossoms but am hopeful that this week'd Farmer's Market in Aspen will have them. Kudos for both the Bills this week also.

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  23. I don't think I've ever seen shrimp-stuffed zucchini flowers! Yum!

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  24. Hi Kathy,
    Wow, these look delicious! My zucchini plants are not doing well at all, they were growing really well, and now seems to be dying on me, and this is the first time I'm growing zucchinis. The flowers did not make it to full growth at all! Will have to try again.
    I have never eaten zucchini blooms before and have seen some recipes using it, but this is the first time I'm seeing it with shrimp. It looks delicious and I know that I would love this for sure.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and hope you have a wonderful week!

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  25. These are gorgeous (and perfect on that tablecloth)! I have fried squash blossoms before (usually from the squash growing out of the compost bin) but the shrimp is an inspiration! Love the story about getting them from the farmer!

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  26. Dear Kathy, Zucchini or pumpkin blossoms are the very best. This recipe is delicious.
    I am so happy the farmer was able to help out and pick the blossoms for you.
    Blessings, Catherine

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  27. You're so resourceful! And now that farmer has a new revenue stream in the making. These were great, weren't they?

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  28. What a great story. I love to support family-run farms. Sorry about your zucchini crop this year :-(

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  29. Your blossoms look absolutely amazing!! What a treat.

    I never found any, but I'm still holding out hope - surely there should be some...

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