Mike’s away at Tales of the Cocktail, and I’m once again left to my own devices when it comes to dinner. I’ve had a bit of food-related “homework” to attend to, in preparation for a couple of things I’ll get to tell you more about soon, but aside from that, my main goal is to work through the rather excessive amount of gorgeous summer produce I brought home from the farmers’ market last weekend.
Like tomatoes, for instance. I’ll admit that the best tomatoes of the season are still a little way off, but I can’t resist loading up on the lovely local gems I’ve encountered at the markets in both Boston and in Providence. I slowly cooked these ones in a bit of olive oil with just a pinch of salt, splashing water in from time to time, gently crushing them as they softened and got almost syrupy sweet, and finally pressing them through a strainer to remove any skins and seeds, leaving behind a rich, jammy tomato reduction.
I stuffed my cleaned squash blossoms with my usual mixture of fresh ricotta, soft chevre, salt, lemon zest, and a good amount of finely chopped fresh herbs – in this case parsley, basil from the patio, and summer savory. After piping the cheese mixture into the blossoms (I use the super-fancy zip-top plastic bag with a corner cut off for this), I set the stuffed blossoms in the fridge for a bit to firm up before dipping them in flour, then buttermilk, then another dip in flour (a tip from our friend Derrick that gives my favorite crisp-light result). I fried them in a 2:1 mix of olive oil and grapeseed oil until crisp and golden, and instead of sprinkling flaky salt over them as they came out of the oil as I do for other fried goodies, I grated a little Pecorino Romano over the fried blossoms.
I spooned the tomato reduction onto a plate and arranged my little golden flowers on top, adding a little finely chopped parsley for color and a pop of freshness. And then, I ate. And this doesn’t happen often, but I was pretty darned happy that I didn’t have to share.