Recipe: Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Feta and Mint

Makes 4 meze servings

    • 12 zucchini or squash blossoms (see note)
    • 2 ounces feta cheese, cut into 12 pieces
    • 12 large fresh mint leaves, plus 1-2 sprigs for garnish

Batter

    • 1 cup cornstarch
    • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 cup ouzo
    • ½ cup club soda or more, as needed
    • Olive oil and safflower oil for frying

One at a time, carefully open each zucchini blossom and insert 1 piece of cheese and 1 mint leaf. Place on a plate and cover (the blossoms can be stuffed and refrigerated for up to 4 hours in advance of frying, if necessary).

In a medium bowl whisk together the ingredients to make the ouzo batter, which should be just runny.

In a large, deep skillet, heat about 11/2 inches of a combination of olive and safflower oil over medium-high heat to 350°F. In batches, carefully dip each stuffed blossom into the batter, turning to coat on all sides. Fry, turning, until golden brown throughout, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve at once, garnished with the mint sprigs.

NOTE: The blossoms have a tendency to close up as you work with them. To keep them open, place them upside down on the work surface as you proceed, as my friend Katerina Vassiliadou taught me. She learned the trick from her mother, an excellent Santorini cook.

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Aglaia Kremezi writes about food in Greek, European, and American magazines, publishes books about Mediterranean cooking in the U.S. and Greece, and teaches cooking classes. More

Aglaia Kremezi has changed her life and her profession many times over. She currently writes about food in Greek, European and American magazines, publishes books about Greek and Mediterranean cooking in the US and in Greece, and teaches cooking to small groups of travelers who visit Kea. Before that she was a journalist and editor, writing about everything, except politics. She has been the editor in chief and the creator of news, women's, and life-style magazines, her last disastrous venture being a "TV guide for thinking people," a contradiction in terms, at least in her country. She studied art, graphic design, and photography at the Polytechnic of Central London. For five years she taught photography to graphic designers while freelancing as a news and fashion photographer for Athenian magazines and newspapers. Editors liked her extended captions more than the pieces the journalists submitted for the events she took pictures for, so she was encouraged to do her own stories, gradually becoming a full time journalist and editor. You can visit her website at www.keartisanal.com.


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