Friday, October 1, 2010

Fennel Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I love squash blossoms. They grow off of the zucchini plant as beautiful flowers and are totally edible. The most popular way to cook them is to stuff them, then batter and fry like I did today.
I was able to pick as much fennel and squash blossoms as my heart desired from the garden at my work today and my findings resulted in tonight's dinner.

Fennel cooked until it is sweet and caramelized, roasted garlic and tender yukon golds make up the filling in these crispy fried squash blossoms. Serve them with your favorite marinara sauce.

Fennel Stuffed Squash Blossoms

5 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
3-4 heads of fennel, just the bulb, thinly sliced
1 tsp organic sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 head of garlic
1 yukon gold potato, peeled and cooked through
1 cup plus 2 tbl almond milk, divided
8 squash blossoms
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
canola oil

Preheat the oven to 425. Slice a thin layer off the bottom of the garlic bulb and drizzle with 2 tbl of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Wrap in foil and roast for 40 minutes until the garlic is soft and golden brown.
In a medium sized saute pan, heat 3 tbl of oil and add the sliced fennel. Cook over medium heat, tossing occasionally until the fennel is tender, 15 minutes. Add the sugar, salt and pepper. Continue to saute until the sugars have released, 15 more minutes.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the fennel, 3 cloves of roasted garlic, cooked potato and 2 tbl of almond milk. Mash into a cohesive mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool before stuffing.
Stuff one tablespoon (more or less) of mixture into the center of each squash blossom. Be careful not to rip the flower. Twist the petals together at the end, as if to seal in the mixture.

In a deep, medium bowl combine the rice flour, cornstarch, 1 cup of almond milk and salt. Whisk until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to obtain a thick, dippable, pancake like batter.
Heat a large pot of canola oil to 360 degrees. Once the oil is hot, dip each blossom in the batter and then lay gently in the oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain on a paper bag and sprinkle with sea salt.

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