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Author Notes: Delicate and crisp with slight squash flavor, zucchini blossoms are a wonderful summer treat. Absolutely yummy when stuffed with creamy ricotta and mint and a perfect appetizer for a chilled glass of whine. —Iglika Petrova/Sprig of Thyme
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta (preferably hand dipped)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
- 12-16 large zucchini/squash blossoms
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup chilled sparkling water
- 6 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil but feel free to use your favorite neutrally tasting oil)
- 1 cup cherry heirloom tomatoes
- Mix together the ricotta, half of the parmesan, mint, lemon zest and a dash of salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Carefully open each flower and by using your pointer finger remove the pollen stem that is inside (the pollen stem is quite bitter and if not removed, it will leave an unpleasant taste).
- Fill a piping or a plastic bag with the ricotta mixture and pipe the filling inside the flower cup until it is 2/3 full. Slightly press to flatten each flower, making sure the filling is not coming out.
- Whisk together the flour, remaining parmesan, a dash of salt and the sparkling in a medium bowl.
- Heat an empty 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Meanwhile, pour the batter into a large shallow plate. Coat both sides of 1/3 of the blossoms by dipping them into the batter. Add 2 tablespoons of oil into the hot skillet and carefully add the flowers. Fry each side until golden, about 2-3 minutes total. Repeat the process 2 more times with the remaining oil and 2/3 of flowers.
- Serve with halved cherry heirloom tomatoes tossed with some salt, pepper and olive oil.