Don’t eat the daisies (but go for zucchini flowers)
When my daughter was tiny, she asked if she could eat flowers, and I told her that while it wasn’t impossible, most of the time you couldn’t (probably in clearer language that went something along the lines of “not really”). With the little guys it’s good to go with blanket rules of thumb – in this case, I didn’t want to find her in the middle of a rose bush at breakfast one morning.
Doris Day had the same rule. I used to watch this with my mom, who loves the oldie but goodies.
It turns out, though, that if I had found my daughter in the middle of a rosebush having a nibble everything probably would have turned out okay, besides the inevitable thorn injuries. This article highlights the many different flower varieties that are edible, and roses are one of them.
I didn’t read an article and visit the Botanical Gardens in the middle of the night to get this recipe, but don’t put it past me. Finding zucchini flowers was as easy as picking them up at my local organic fruit market/store. I proudly nabbed them as soon as I saw them, partly hoping to impress my daughter who is now old enough to be selective and cautious about which blooms to consume – a mother would hope, anyway. One can never predict how sensible one’s own progeny may be, always moving forward only on blind faith, a wish and a prayer. Just last weekend she forgot to bring shoes for a weekend at the cottage, so my mothering skills are not entirely irrelevant just yet.
But back to the zucchini flowers.
The shopkeeper suggested that people buy them so that they can stuff and deep fry them, and when I got to googling I found this recipe that looked interesting. A little unhealthy, yes, but I’m always more open to clogging the arteries of guests rather than my own family, and we were having friends for dinner and I needed an appetizer (sorry Mel and Bryan). I prepared the recipe almost exactly as written, but I’ll recap below so that you don’t have to go to the trouble of clicking over to another window.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
- 1C all-purpose flour
- 1C sparkling water (plus a little more)
- Kosher salt
- 8 zucchini flowers
- 1/3C soft goat cheese
- 2Tbsp cream cheese (I used this as directed, but not sure it’s critical to buy a whole $4 tub of it for this recipe. Use your judgement)
- 2Tsp cream
- 1Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Directions: Mix filling ingredients in a small bowl. Gently spoon filling into the bowls of the flowers, twisting the tops of the petals to close.
Heat a pan full of oil over med-high heat for a few minutes. Combine flour and sparkling water in a bowl so that it is runny enough to easily coat flowers — I had to add slightly more sparkling water than 1C to decrease thickness of batter. Gently dredge flowers in flour mixture (homonyms are cool in this recipe) and fry until flowers are golden brown.
Sprinkle with kosher salt and serve.
Results: This recipe was a winner! Deep fried cheese of any kind is always a treat, and the flowers added a surprising freshness to each bite. Even Mel ate and enjoyed them, and she is one of the pickiest eaters I know (this wouldn’t offend her – she owns it). My daughter ate a plain flower dipped in honey because she’s not into cheese. Fun. Rating: 5 yums, the highest offered by my very technical ten point rating system.
Suggested wine pairing: Wine pairing is a new feature of my blog because…well…who doesn’t like wine? And in this case it’s extra relevant, because my dinner guest for the flowers, Bryan, created the site that I’ll be using to research appropriate pairings: winealign.com.
I would suggest the 2011 Errazuriz Estate Sauvignon Blanc from Aconcagua Valley, Chile, found in Ontario for $11.95.