Zuchinni Blossoms Tempura w/ Aromatic Vegetables & Ricotta

I went to inspect the zuchinni flowers, and as i looked closer i was in shock. A bug menage a trois was indulging in decadent hedonism in broad daylight AND right in front of me!.. Pigs!!.. I mean Bugs!! Now, i don’t watch much television but i must say – this was much more entertaining than any sitcom on TV, at least to me. I guess my opinion doesn’t really count since a rubber band and a paper clip could keep me entertained for hours.

[Food porn alert! Sensitive subjects should close their eyes and scroll down. No peeking!]

Hmm.. Of course i won’t!

Let’s do a little poll just for fun. If you were to find some charming little bugs copulating on your food, what would YOU do?

  1. Vomit in disgust and throw everything in the garbage.
  2. Gently push the lovebugs aside and cover them with some lettuce for privacy.
  3. Smash the little bastard and proclaim yourself the ruler of the cutting board Kingdom.
  4. Cook ’em up. You can use the extra protein.

You won’t believe how delicious this is. The stuffing is made by quickly sauteeing some chopped vegetables in olive oil with garlic and thyme to al dente. You let the mixture cool and fold it into some fresh ricotta, season with salt and pepper, et voila. Clean the blossoms with a dry brush, remove the pistils and spoon the ricotta mixture inside. Dip the stuffed flowers in tempura batter and deep-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. A sprinkle of salt and you’re in heaven.

Zuchinni Blossoms Tempura w/ Aromatic Vegetables & Ricotta

(serve 4)

For the stuffing:

  • 8 zuchinni flowers,cleaned
  • 8 ounces fresh ricotta
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 zuchinni, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 or 2 sprigs of marjoram or thyme
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the tempura batter (note: tempura mix can also be purchased at the supermarket. It works very well.)

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 quart of canola oil for frying
  1. Beat an egg in a bowl. Add ice water to the bowl (be sure to use very cold water) Add sifted flour and mix lightly. Do not to overmix the batter. Heat the oil to about 375’F in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  2. Quickly sautee the chopped vegetables in the olive oil until cooked but still al dente. Add the garlic and the marjoram or thyme and sautee for 30 seconds longer. Set aside to cool. Fold into the fresh ricotta and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Stuff the zuchinni blossoms with the ricotta mixture and close the petals around the stuffing (See pictures).
  4. Dip the blossoms into the tempura batter and deep-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.

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  • Manggy

    Oh! Is that a charming bug I see there, fried in mid-cavorting? Kidding! It looks very good indeed, Zen-man; I love the melty cross section. (You see, I’ve never had stuffed zucchini flowers before. Shame as the zucchini farmers here probably throw them away thinking that no one is interested!)

    I would opt for choice #3. I’m just sadistic that way. Hahaha! :)

  • Manggy

    By the way, if I did encounter instead of charming little bugs, coprophages such as cockroaches, I would’ve trashed everything and taken a good long bath. Ewwww!

  • Colloquial Cook

    C’est comme les limaces dans les salades du marché. Moi ça me ravit (ah oui, il en faut peu), je vais les relâcher dans la nature, comme les ours des Pyrénées. At a managable scale 😉

  • Claude-Olivier

    mort de rire, comme d’hab quand je viens chez toi!

  • Bethany

    HAHA! Zen man i’d feed them to the big boss man if I were you 😉 T’es genial! Totally what I was craving… can you fed ex me some? pleeeeeaaaase!!!!

  • Dhanggit

    i was planning to do some tempura with zuccini flowers to last week.;but they were so expensive..i guess i will just have to settle savoring yours on screen..yummy!!

  • Kian

    I’d macerate the little creatures in cognac and make “drunken love bugs.” Bossman will love them!

    Oh, garnish with ginger and scallion.

  • Mary Coleman

    Mere perfection as usual, dear Zen. Mere perfection.

  • Ginny

    haha!!!! Love the picture of porn! I would do #3…there is some good food to be eaten…you can not let bugs get in the way!

  • Jack

    Zenman, you kill me. That bug porn pic made me laugh loud enough to wake the neighbours. Personally I’d have flicked them out of the window and carried on (if I were in a good mood I’d have let ’em finish first!)

    As for the dish… awesome, as always. Looks, and sounds, delicious. Bummer about July 4th, though. I hope bossman is paying you extra!

  • Elle

    #3!! hahaha. I’ve got to be Supreme Ruler of something, you know.

    So sorry about your weekend! Totally sucks!

  • My Sweet & Saucy

    I see these at the farmer’s market a lot, but never had a recipe that I thought was worth trying. BUT now I can’t wait to see them again…looks fantastic!

  • glamah16

    Those are some big blossoms. Im groaning at the the delish site, not the horny bugs.

  • Peter M

    Bravo…it’s Zengnifique! I prefer the tempura type batter, nice & crisp and contrasted with your creamy ricotta here.

  • FeelingFlirty

    Those bugs have me totally in the mood. Sex on top of a bed of vegetables is so kinky.

  • Clumbsy Cookie

    I think you’ve just ruined my future zuchinni blossoms eating experiences…

  • Chicken & Waffles

    Can I just say zuchinni flowers alone freak the shit outta me? Is it part of an elborate arrangememt for a boutique hotel lobby centerpiece or something that begs to be dipped in tempura batter and fried within an inch of its life?

    And for the record, the bugs would look better on the hotel centerpiece. We expect big bugs in Manhattan.

  • Big Boys Oven

    this is so awesoome! OMG! You are such a Teaser! lol! Even blossoms can be reinvented . . . sure my girlfriends will be very envy of this! lol!

  • waliz

    the zucchini blossoms look seductively appetising…leave the lovebugs alone will ya?

  • AzAzura

    I ‘ve learnt a lot from you and these are simply gorgeous,i would not have thought of turning it into a tempura , you exploited your ingredients well, apart from the added protein that should be included in the dish

  • Dita

    gosh..what a creative idea to mix all the veggies and herbs :).

  • Olga Berman

    wow! that’s all there is to say.
    btw, I have a degree in psychology and am willing to provide free therapy :)

  • Coffee & Vanilla

    Wow, it sounds and looks delicious! :)
    I have never tried zucchini’s blossom yet, I’m going to look for it on the market tomorrow!!! :)
    Thank you for sharing this, Margot
    p.s. I love those bugs, they are sooo funny! :)

  • Lucy

    I’ve planted up extra zucchini plants just for those flowers. Soon, very soon they’ll be on my plate…..

    without bugs thank you, gagging 😉

  • cakebrain

    For your poll, you forgot choice #5: Take a pic with your macro lens and post it on your blog!
    I’d choose #5 of course! har har!
    Stuffed zucchini flowers are so delicate and decadent. They look great! That being said, I hear the extra protein from the bugs would lower your carbon foot-print! A famous Indian restaurant in Vancouver, called Vij’s, is now serving bugs to their patrons intentionally! It’s on the menu!

  • Emiline

    I’d pick 3…that makes me mean, I guess. I hate bugs.

    I have GOT to try this! The tempura sounds so easy. I always thought it was more complicated.

    You mustn’t work on July 4th! It’s my birthday! It’s a national day of rest.

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Well, as my mother would have said about the bugs, that’s how you know it’s fresh! Fried zucchini blossoms are a great treat — hope your Bossman appreciated them.

  • Adam

    Ya know I’ve never thought of cooking zuchinni flowers… very interesting. Dude you have to work at the Hamptons on the 4th? It’s going to be a zoo there… on the plus side maybe you’ll make good tips or something.

  • We Are Never Full

    EVERY TIME i buy zucchini blossoms the same thing happens! AND they’re the same freaking bug! I usually just shake them out outside. To me it shows freshness! Hey, I’ being optimistic here. Fried zucchini blossoms are one of my favorites. they can be a pain to stuff, but use something to pipe it in and it’s a sinch! looks great, bugs or no bugs.

  • doggybloggy

    I love zuchinni blossoms I made them by the ton last year and cant wait to make them again…I will try your stuffing.

  • Chicopea

    You crack me up. I think they’re teenagers so we can cut them some slack. Its easy to make mistakes when you’re that age, don’t ya think?

    I just had a mountain of dumplings and I’m getting hungry again looking at these zucchini masterpieces. *slurp

  • White On Rice Couple

    I would do # 3, Hi Ya!! But Todd would probably do #2 or even #4, depending on his mood for the day!
    Those look so awesome! So perfectly fried and melting with cheese! Wow, Big Bossman grows his own stuff? Pretty cool.

  • Kevin

    Those look good. I have been wanting to try zucchini flowers for a while now. I will have to keep an eye out for them.

  • cook eat FRET

    if i thought for one moment that i could manage to tempura fry ANYTHING, i might try this.

    they look absolutely amazing. and i mean perfect.

    you damn chefs…

  • Kate / Kajal

    damn it stephan, u should’ve fed him the bugs ! the tempura looks so delectable that even if u went out of your way to get a few more gross,ugly, slimy n squishy bugs, and stuffed them in there he would’ve never know n relished it ! dumbo !

  • Tartelette

    First I thought “dish them up Chef!” and then I thought about how “lively” you made them and I opted for letting them continue their debauchery :)
    I can never find zucchini flowers here…I really need to pay you a visit and possibly on the 4th!!

  • Nina’s Kitchen (Nina Timm)

    Good Gods, Zenman, this is flippen amazing!!!! I have never seen zucchini flowers that fresh either -around here they’ve been on the shelve s for a week by the time I get there.

  • foodhuntress79

    I love zuchinni/ squash blossoms! Yea, I tried the fritters a few times already (with mozzarella and anchovies or chopped oysters, though)- but I haven’t seen one as great a this. Btw, what happened to the bugs? Haha. You’re very clever

  • Mike of Mike’s Table

    I’ve seen these before, but never had the opportunity to try them myself. They look delicious!

    Also, rofl@those bugs. Sorry to hear about the 4th though :-/

  • Ann

    One word: GORGEOUS!

  • Cindy. Lo.

    I was literally laughing for minutes,
    Hahah the bugs are…adorable..
    And I’m torn between option 2 and 3,
    I guess it all depends on my mood of the day when I see bugs in my food,
    Live or die!

  • charlotte s

    ive never had zucchini blossoms before, and these look SO gorgeous!

  • farida

    you are too funny:) I am still laughing:)

    never made tempura, this looks yummy!

  • Proud Italian Cook

    Absolutely Outstanding!!

  • Heather

    Aw, face it – you kick the weekend chef’s padunk and that’s why Bossman wanted you to work that weekend!

    Nice flowers, you perv.

  • taste memory

    how can something so pretty not be luscious? Great pix ~ good fotos of just fried flowers looks perfect ~ so delicate.

    had something similar @ meza grill couple summers ago + wanted more, but yours looks bettr~

  • Martine

    Using Tapioca Flour with Ice cold ALKA SELTZER then fold eggs whites in it.
    Great Tempera Batter!