If you are fortunate enough to have squash blossoms in your own back yard, don’t let them go to waste! They are only available to enjoy for a few short weeks. When I walk through the neighborhood and spot these beautiful flowers in a garden, I hope that the owner will use them at their peak and make fritters for dinner. If you are not growing your own, see if a local farm or market will supply you with these summer delicacies.
The mild squash taste of the flowers makes for excellent fritters; however, if you are in the mood for a non-fried option, try the vibrant flowers in a salad. A very simple one to showcase both taste and color is to slice a juicy, ripe tomato into wedges and add strips of squash blossoms. Combine with fresh basil for some green, and top with a light dressing of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Of course, season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. This salad should prove to be one of your favorites this summer.
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Tagged Basil, Blossom, Cooking, Flower, Food, Fritter, Garden, Italian, Recipe, Salad, Squash, Squash Blossom, Summer, Tomato, Zucchini
If you are Italian and you prepared the Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes, then you probably have some leftovers. Italian cooks never make just enough…we always make more.
That’s the case with the centerpiece of my husband and my traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes – our baccala (salted cod) salad. Some families prepare a cod stew or a brandade, but we make a baccala salad of celery, green and black olives, banana peppers, olive oil and lemon juice. You can find the recipe in my December 2012 “Feast of the Seven Fishes” article under the “Culinary Chronicles” page.
The salad is a treat on its own, but it also makes a tasty fritter. Making these fritters could not be simpler. Just add an egg and some breadcrumbs and form the mixture into “cakes”. Sauté the cod cakes in butter and olive oil, flipping once, so that each side turns a golden brown. Don’t be concerned if the cakes break apart a bit…all the better to show off the colorful olives and peppers. Serve with a roasted pepper, a hot pepper and a lemon wedge.
Anyone who doesn’t eat leftovers is missing out!
Baccala salad fritter
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Tagged Baccala, Cake, Celery, Christmas Eve, Cod, Cooking, Fish, Food, Fritter, Italian, Olives, Peppers, Recipe, Seafood