Story and photos by Emily Reynolds
A perfect starter for an Italian meal, these morsels of fresh, summery flavor will please all of your guests.
2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups of sparkling spring water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
24 zucchini blossoms, with stems, rinsed and patted dry ( substitute, zucchini sticks cut into 3-inch stems)
Vegetable oil for frying or substitute sunflower oil
1 or 2 lemons cut into wedges for serving
Coarse sea salt for serving
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, water, eggs and fine sea salt to make a smooth batter about the consistency of heavy cream. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Carefully rinse the zucchini blossoms, checking to make sure there are no little bugs hiding inside. Gently pat them dry, Rinse with sage leaves and gently pat them dry.
Pour enough oil into a medium skillet to reach a depth of 1/2 to 3/4 inches. Place over medium high heat and heat to 375 degrees on a deep frying thermometer. To test the oil temperature, drop a small amount of batter into the hot oil. It should sizzle and float to the surface immediately, and quickly turn golden.
Have ready a paper towel-lined baking sheet or plate for draining.
Dip the zucchini blossoms in the batter and transfer them immediately to the hot oil. Fry them in batches, a few at a time, taking care not to crowd the skillet, for 2 minutes;use a fork to turn and fry another 2 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. With a slotted spoon, transfer the blossoms to the prepared baking sheet or plate. Fry the sage leaves in the same way, turning them once as they cook.
Transfer the fried blossoms and sage leaves to a decorative serving platter and sprinkle a little coarse salt over them. Arrange the lemon wedges on the platter and serve.
From Domenica Marchetti