Zucchini blossoms with haloumi in olive-brioche crumbs

Zucchini blossoms with haloumi in olive-brioche crumbs

By
From
New Feast
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

These crunchy, oozing deep-fried zucchini flowers are usually served as part of a mezze selection, but are sophisticated enough to act as a stand-alone starter if you’re planning a formal dinner party. Try to find a good-quality brioche loaf; it makes excellent, super-crunchy golden crumbs.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8 baby zucchini with blossoms attached
plain flour, for dusting
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a little water
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
olive oil, for deep-frying
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
purple basil leaves, to serve (optional)
lemon wedges, to serve

Olive-brioche crumbs

Quantity Ingredient
100g brioche
12 kalamata olives, pitted, rinsed, dried and finely diced
1 teaspoon za’atar
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Haloumi, mint and ginger stuffing

Quantity Ingredient
100g haloumi, grated
50g mozzarella, grated
1 small garlic clove, crushed with ½ teaspoon sea salt
generous pinch ground cardamom
generous grind black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons finely shredded flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 heaped teaspoon finely chopped mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried mint

Method

  1. To make the olive-brioche crumbs, put the brioche in the bowl of a food processor and whiz to fine breadcrumbs. Tip into a mixing bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. Set aside.
  2. To make the stuffing, combine the haloumi and mozzarella with the garlic paste, spices, fresh ginger and herbs.
  3. Carefully open each zucchini blossom and pinch out the stamen. Roll a lump of the cheese stuffing into a thumb-sized sausage shape and gently stuff it into the blossom. Twist the top of the flower to seal. Repeat with the remaining zucchinis.
  4. Set up a little production line of flour, egg wash and the crumb mixture. Dust each zucchini flower lightly with flour, then dip it into the egg and, finally, gently roll it in the crumbs to create an even coating.
  5. When ready to cook, pour equal quantities of vegetable and olive oil into a deep-fryer or saucepan to a depth of around 8 cm and heat to 190°C.
  6. Fry the zucchini blossoms a few at a time for 2–3 minutes, or until the crumbs turn crisp and golden. Turn them around in the oil to ensure they colour evenly all over. Drain them on kitchen paper, season lightly, and serve piping hot with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, a handful of herbs and lemon wedges.

Note:

  • If you don’t have a candy thermometer, the oil will have reached the correct temperature when it is shimmering, and when a small cube of bread sizzles up to the surface and turns a pale golden brown in about 20 seconds.
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