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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Living in The Moment

I have a great recipe adapted from Mario Batali's cookbook, Molto Italiano. Because you have to use the summer squash or zucchini flowers immediately upon cutting, I call this a Living in the Moment recipe brought to you by Ben, the border collie who epitomizes Living in the Moment. Back to the recipe. This is an easy and quick summertime appetizer. I also think this is a great recipe because it is always hard to capture all your squash before they start to become baseball bats. This gets some of your fruit early, when it is, in my opinion at it's best. Instead of using the male flower (that has no squash attached to it) we like to use the female flowers that has a mini squash, about 2" long. Mario substitutes just goat cheese for ricotta. We blend goat cheese and a mild feta cheese for more zippy flavor. If you are looking for local farm fresh goat cheese, again another Sterling favorite is Crystal Brook Farm. Ann does a lot of farmers markets, too. If you can visit Crystal Brook, it is the most idyllic setting in Sterling. For my one and only feta resource, it has to be Ed Hyder's Mediterranean Market Place, Pleasant St. Worcester.
Here are the directions: This recipe is adapted for 3 flowers/person. One egg, 1/4 cup of your cheeses mixed, a scallion thinly sliced, a dash of ground nutmeg, black pepper and salt to taste, olive oil, butter and basil. Prep the blossoms by removing the flower part in the center, cut the mini squash off and put aside, wash the flowers gently (look for bugs). Mix the first six ingredients together in a bowl to make your filling. Put 2 tsp. in each blossom. Heat non-stick frying pan, med. to med. high heat. Add olive oil and sear the mini squash and give it a dash of salt. Set aside. Reduce heat and add a little more olive oil, if necessary and saute blossoms on both sides till slightly golden brown. Take a tab of butter in pan and swirl around and coat the flowers. Place on plate and serve with basil (in fine strips or chiffonade) for a sample of this cutting technique. The mini squash can be sauted prior to cooking the flowers as above. They take a bit longer to saute so do them first, then your flowers and serve together.

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)