Sunday, August 11, 2013

Farm stand yummies

Yesterday morning after setting up our spinning display at the fair with friends I went out to Fort Vannoy Farms (just over the ridge from us) to buy corn. As my father said when visiting and finally moving here all the corn here is feed corn, nothing like the sweet corn from back east. I wish he were still around to try the corn at Fort Vannoy Farms - it is the closest thing to the corn we had back east, very sweet and tender and it didn't disappoint at dinner last night. I thought of my father while cleaning the corn, he would sit on the back porch making sure every single silk was off each ear and wouldn't trust the job to anyone else.

More memories yesterday when I saw zucchini blossoms at the farm stand. My grandmother used to fry zucchini blossoms - I can remember this from a very young age. I had a nice conversation with the farmer about them - he was asked if he had them from a Chicago chef visiting the area so said sure, they could pick them. A few others have bought them since and I bought some yesterday. It's one of those newer haute cuisine foods but I can remember my grandmother making them over 50 years ago (yes, that's dating me), it was the type of Italian peasant food I grew up on, use everything including those male flowers that don't produce zucchini. Just like roasted peppers which have gained popularity over the 15 or so years - I grew up on them, my family would buy bushels of red and green bell peppers to roast at the end of the summer. My father and grandfather would stand out at the charcoal grill, one of those old round ones, and roast the peppers. As each batch came off the grill they'd put them in brown grocery sacks to bring inside to my mother and grandmother to peel the skins off of, slice up and put in containers for the freezer to be used all winter long. Roasted peppers were a staple on the Christmas Eve table.

So, I came home with 8 zucchini blossoms to give them a try. I couldn't remember how my grandmother fixed them other than that they were fried in a iron skillet. After talking with my mother we determined that my grandmother didn't stuff them and I'm thinking she used her frito misto batter recipe which is still used to this day in the family, it's flour, white wine, melted butter and eggs. I looked up some recipes online and many used a batter similar to tempura with flour and sparkling water or beer. I decided to stuff mine with goat cheese, dip them in an egg wash, then in flour/bread crumb mixture and fry. Now I'm wishing I had left a few unstuffed to try them that way......guess I'll have to buy more.

Here are the blossoms straight from the farm stand

I gently opened up each blossom and pulled the stamen out (is that what it's called???)

Then I stuff the inside of it with goat cheese, adding some roasted garlic would be great but I didn't feel like roasting any. Other cheese would be yummy too - I mean, what cheese would be bad in or on anything.......

Here they are all stuffed and the petals twisted back closed around the cheese

All dipped in the egg wash and dredged in my mixture of flour and Italian bread crumbs, I added quite a bit fresh cracked pepper too

Frying in canola oil - I wanted to fry them in an oil without much taste but I might try olive oil next time. I put just enough oil in the bottom to fry them, didn't overdo it

Ready to eat, cheese oozing out. They were excellent. Sam was a little dubious about eating fried flowers but he loved them. Now I need to get over to the farm stand to buy more and give my farmer a report of how I fixed them so he can tell others as he markets them to the area.


  1. My sister in KY runs a Farmers Market and she has had tons of requests for zucchini blossoms. I'll need to try growing them next year. Thanks for the photo lesson on fried blossoms!

  2. I don't remember Nani making these when I was around -- wish I had tried hers. But yours look delicious, too. I have memories of my mom roasting peppers, except she used the oven instead of a grill. I'm wondering why the brown paper bag -- do you know?

    1. The brown paper bag was to help steam the peppers to make the peel easier to get off, some people use plastic bags.

      I don't know if Nani made these after Grandpa died, he did the gardening so there was always stuff to cook, can, preserve when he was around. If she did make them when you were around you most probably didn't want anything to do with them being that young.

  3. Very Yummy and great food pictures.


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