Yummy Squash Blossoms

October 11, 2007 9:00:00 PM PDT
In this week's Neighborhood Eats, we checked out an edible flower that grows on the top of zucchinis and squash, a popular dish in Italy that's served in Brooklyn. We headed to Aurora, which means the light before dawn. It's also the name of a restaurant the owners of Aurora loved in Tuscany, so they borrowed the name and the whole Italian feel.

This Aurora is located at 70 Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Riccardo Buitoni's food calls on his childhood, world travels, culinary experience. He serves it up in a rustic setting in a section of Williamsburg that hasn't yet been developed.

At Aurora you feel far away here -- and that's exactly the the mood owner, Elena Fabiani, wanted to create -- a place reminiscent of her family's country home in Italy.

So there are old world nooks, tubs used as planters and a garden that you'll be able to enjoy even in the winter.

And about the food, there are fresh ingredients -- often local grown -- like squash blossoms.

Squash blossoms, or zucchini flowers, can be stuffed with any number of things. Chef Riccardo prefers buffalo mozzarella and anchovies, mixed along with parsley, parmesan and lemon zest.

He removes the stamen from inside the flower and then gently stuffs and twists the flower to seal it. The blossoms are dipped in batter and deep friend.

The end result: Crispy on the outside, creamy and salty on the inside. It's a taste of the Italy served up right in Williamsburg.

Ingredients:

  • 16 fresh squash blossom
  • 300 gr. of buffalo mozzarella drained from it's own liquid
  • 100 gr regular mozzarella
  • 7 anchovy fillets, previously drained from oil
  • Chopped parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs. of grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

    For the batter:

  • 1 cup of regular flour
  • 1 cup of corn starch
  • chopped parsley
  • 2 1/2 cups of really cold soda water
  • 1 gallon of frying oil

    Preparation:

  • For the filling, mix the two mozzarella with chopped anchovies, parsley, parmesan and seasoning to obtain a smooth mixture. Set aside in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  • Make the batter, mixing the ingredients above with a whisk untill totally blended. Keep cold until you need it.

  • Very gently, fill the squash blossom with a little of the mixture and twist the end so the filling is closed inside the flower.

  • Dip gently in the batter, shake the excess and deep fry each side for 3 minutes or until crispy.

  • Drain for a couple of minutes. Season with little salt and serve with slice of lemon and little salad.

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