Something pretty amazing just happened. Expect caps and exclamation points to follow. I found / stumbled on Zucchini blossoms on MY OWN BLOCK! To be accurate in my reporting, they were actually up the block from my house in an unmarked, non residential plot. Best to rewind…
2 days prior to this miraculous event I became aware that they were in season. I began a local search for them, first the food co-op, then Pumpkins, then Union Market. No go. Being that it is early in the season, I figured next time I was in Manhattan I would go to the farmer’s market. BUT there would be no need, since they were found, growing happily on MY block in Brooklyn. I looked around (was I a thief??) and began carefully plucking them until I had enough for my meal.
And so it happened, in homage to Eugenia on the farm where I once worked and where I learned their preparation in Southern Italy, I cooked with passion and remembrance.
First, for the antipasto I stuffed the delicate flowers with Provolone & Prosciutto Cotto and deep fried them in beer batter!
A Risotto followed; my single favorite dish from the farm. I transported myself back to that tense kitchen and retraced the steps of this dish acutely. I made the 10 minute Vegetable stock, sweated a conservative amount of diced onions, allowed the white wine time to perfume the base, carefully ladled in the stock, stirred occasionally but never rigorously, added the first half of the blossoms and when ALMOST ready and as the joke goes, “when no one was looking” added butter, parsley, veal stock, Parmesan and the rest of my blossoms.