The Ç beignets de fleurs de courgette È are really easy to make, and a great way to use the male blossoms on your squash plants (The flowers that donÕt produce a fruit. You can tell them apart from the females because they are generally larger and grow on a long stem.) Beating the egg whites separately gives the batter a deliciously light, fluffy texture that is a total crowd pleaser. A specialty of the region of Nice on the French Riviera, they are enjoyed with the Ç Aperitif È, generally Pastis, as a light lunch accompanied by a simple green salad, or as a first course with dinner.
Ingredients Ð Serves 6 as an appetizer
á A bouquet of 12 zucchini blossoms (use male blossoms, without baby zucchini attached)
á 2/3 cup all purpose flour
á 2 eggs
á 1 scant cup milk
á 1Ú2 tsp. each salt and pepper
á 1 tsp. finely minced garlic
á 1 Tbs. Finely minced parsley
á Frying oil (I use grapeseed oil, available at Trader JoeÕs).
¥ Prepare your zucchini blossoms : Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut off the stems and the base of the flowers, so that just the golden crown of petals is left. Set aside. Do not wash the blossoms, or the fritters will spatter like crazy.
¥ Separate the egg yolks from the whites.
Place the flour in a bowl, and add the egg yolks. Stir with a whisk.
¥ Drizzle in the milk, stirring well.
¥ Season with the salt, pepper, minced garlic and parsley.
¥ Beat the egg whites to firm peaks, and gently fold them into the batter
¥ Heat up your frying oil into a wok or deep pan.
¥ Delicately plunge each flower into the batter and deposit it into the hot oil
¥ Cook the fritters for two minutes on each side.
¥ Lay on paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
¥ Serve sprinkled with a little sea salt.
Notes: If you have batter left over, you can use it to fry sliced zucchini.
Recipe courtesy of Laurence Hauben, Market Forays. www.marketforays.com