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
• 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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