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Tempura Fried Zucchini Flower with Ricotta and Pecorino Cheese and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted from Robert Donna by StarChefs

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

Tempura Batter
  • 1 bottle of beer (room temperature)
  • 1 ounce fresh yeast
  • 7 ounces flour

Filling

  • 1 cup fresh ricotta, patted dry
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • 8 zucchini flowers, cleaned and stems removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

  • 1 pint fresh grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons basil purée (Available at gourmet markets)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sauce
  • 2 pounds green zucchini
  • 5 ounces shallots
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces onions
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

To prepare the batter:
Dissolve the yeast in the beer and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Slowly whisk in the flour until it is totally incorporated. Let it set in the refrigerator for 1 hour before use. To prepare the filling, using a stainless steel bowl and a wooden spoon fold together the ricotta, Pecorino and seasoning. Using a pastry bag, gently fill the zucchini flowers 3/4 full of the filling. Dip the flower in the tempura batter and then into 325°F hot oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until the flowers turn golden brown and become crispy. Remove from the oil, drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with a small amount of salt.

To prepare the oven-roasted tomatoes:
Remove any stems from the tomatoes. Rinse them with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Gently toss the tomatoes with the basil purée, salt and olive oil. Lay the tomatoes on a mesh rack in a shallow pan and cook in the oven at 225°F for 2 hours, turning the pan every 1/2 hour.

To prepare the sauce:
Peel the green from the zucchini with a potato peeler. Save the white of the zucchini for soup. Slice the shallots and onions in very thin slices and cook with a lid at medium heat until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Add the zucchini peel to the sauce without the lid for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper and blend in a blender with olive oil.

To serve, put one spoon of zucchini sauce in the center of the dish and place two zucchini flowers on top. Garnish with oven-roasted cherry tomatoes.

Wine Suggestion
White Arneis from Piedmont

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