Recipes and Ramblings in Italy

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Recipe of theWeek (February 15, 2015)

Posted by William Abruzzo on February 11, 2015 at 8:55 PM

Fior di Zucchine Fritti (Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Caviar and Crème Fraiche)



        This week's recipe takes us to the region of Lazio. In all regions of Italy, zucchini flowers are a favorite springtime treat. Just walk through Rome's famous vegetable market, the "Campo dei Fiori", in early May and you are sure to see bouquets of vibrant orange zucchini blossoms on display. The blossoms are prepared in many different ways. They can be fried until crisp and delicious, stuffed with ricotta cheese, tossed with spaghetti, or cooked into pancakes and omelets. This is my favorite way to prepare zucchini blossoms pulled fresh from my vegetable garden. They are the perfect crispy treat to serve with caviar and creme fraiche.



Zucchini Blossoms (2 dozen large)

All Purpose Flour (about 3 cups for dredging)

Eggs (3 extra-large)

Corn Oil (for frying)

Caviar (2 ounces)

Crème Fraiche (6 ounces)

Salt (to taste)


        Remove and discard the stamens and pistils from the blossoms, tear the blossoms in half, and rinse them gently under cool running water. Pat the blossoms dry and set them to the side. Beat the eggs with ¼ cup of water. Place 3 cups of flour in a deep bowl. Place ¾ inch of corn oil in a large, deep frying pan and set it on a medium high burner. When the oil is hot, dip the blossoms in the beaten egg, dredge them in the flour and fry them on each side until golden brown. Set the blossoms on paper towel to absorb the excess oil and sprinkle them right away with salt. Transfer the fried blossoms to a serving platter. Serve hot with chilled crème fraiche and caviar on the side. Serves 4 to 6 adults.


Categories: Appetizers, Snacks, Soups, and Salads

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Reply Bill Abruzzo
3:35 PM on May 15, 2015 
Misha says...
You spelled February as Frebruary. That is incorrect.

Thank you for pointing this out. I will be sure to make the correction. Hope you enjoy this recipe. When made with good quality Russian caviar, it is delicious!
Reply Misha
3:32 PM on May 15, 2015 
You spelled February as Frebruary. That is incorrect.

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Bill's Cooking Tip of the Month

Roll Out Pie Dough with Ease Using Plastic Wrap

This is an old trick I learned years ago from my mother. The next time you bake a pie, roll out the dough between sheets of plastic wrap. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your rolling pin and will make it easier to transport the dough from your work surface to the pie dish or baking sheet.

Cover your entire work surface with plastic wrap and sprinkle it lightly with flour. Turn the dough onto the wrap, pat it down to 1 inch thickness, sprinkle it lightly with flour, and then cover it with a second layer of wrap. Roll out the dough to just less than ¼ inch thickness and remove the top layer of wrap. Lift the dough using the bottom layer of wrap, turn it on to a lightly greased pie dish or baking sheet, and then remove the wrap. Its quick and easy! 

Tips on Italian Ingredients

 Frying Tomato Paste Enhances the Flavor and Adds Depth to Your Dish

Many recipes direct you to stir tomato paste into a sauce, soup or stew. However, frying the tomato paste first fully develops its flavor and eliminates any raw or metallic taste. It is a quick and easy way to enhance the flavor of your dish. Tomato paste should always be added at the beginning of a recipe, rather than at the end. This allows its flavor to marry with the dish. Add it immediately after sautéing your aromatics in olive oil or rendered fat. When the aromatics are soft, push them to one side of your pot or frying pan. Place a dollop of tomato paste on the other side, tilt the pot or frying pan to pool the oil around the tomato paste, and let it gently sizzle for about 2 minutes.  After the tomato paste has fried, incorporate it into the aromatics and then add the liquid and other ingredients to complete your sauce, soup or stew. 

Just Picked From My Italian Vegetable Garden!

 Zucchini Blossoms 

My Italian Heritage

 My Great Grandparents, Vita and Onofrio Abruzzo, from the town of Santa Margherita di Belice, Sicily pictured here with my grandfather Vito "Bill" in the center.

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