Blossoms Worthy of Champagne

The bottles arrived via UPS on a mundane Wednesday afternoon. UPS trucks rarely come by in this neck of the woods, so that alone was the equivalent of sitting in traffic in the city and watching a mule parade by. The kids had to call me out to “sign” for the package. “Alcohol,” the guy in brown said. “Really?” I said. “That’s usually the only reason they ask for a signature.” I signed and noted he didn’t even ask me for ID.

The cardboard flaps were peeled back, and out popped two glistening bottles of sparkling wine, with gold-foil labels, from a winery in California, Chandon. “What is my husband up to now?” I wondered. A text from him simply said, “Oh, you got them?”

What to serve with those glistening bottles? Flowers, of course, but what could I do to mix it up? Never mind the fact that in spite of how delicious and rich this meal is, the combination of the sugar in the champagne, and the richness of the cheese sent my stomach in a surprising tizzy. This meal was, and still is, one of the most amazing meals I have ever cooked — and probably eaten. I gathered some fresh zucchini blossoms from the garden, with the baby zucchini still attached. I found only four blossoms, and knew that wouldn’t be enough. To round things out, I added some Day Lilies to the mix.

I soaked the flowers in cold salt water to get rid of the ants and dirt.

Meanwhile, I mixed

  • A cup of ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • One egg
  • Handful of chopped basil
  • One minced garlic clove

In another bowl, I mixed a cup of flour with just enough soda water to make the flour frothy and runny.

Then, I carefully opened the flowers, and spooned the cheese mixture inside the flower, and twisted the ends shut to hold the mixture. Next, I dipped the stuffed flowers into the flour water, and laid each blossom in a hot skillet, already coated with olive oil. I fried until crispy on one side, and then flipped, and crisped them up on the other side.

N0w, if only I could get my stomach strong enough to try the combination again… because this was a meal I truly enjoyed cooking and eating.

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