Saturday, 7 February 2015

Say It With Flowers

Frittata di Fiori di Zucca, Camembert & Menta
Zucchini Blossom Frittata with Camembert & Mint

Say it with flowers... a good catch-phrase and indeed a good idea... especially at the dinner table! Because not many things tell somebody that you love them more than you taking the time to prepare a nice meal for them- seriously!

Spending money on taking your loved one or family out to dinner is nice- but it just means that you have money to spend. Spending TIME making the effort to prepare something yourself- well, that needs no further explaining... and combine that with these lovely edible blossoms... and you will be sure to put a smile on his or her face... or on all of their faces if you are cooking for family and friends!

The best thing about preparing this particular "bunch of flowers", is that it takes so little effort, so few ingredients and so little time! There is absolutely no reason you should not be getting down to making this as soon as you have finished reading... well- unless you can't get those lovely zucchini blossoms of course!


For my lovely frittata I needed just 2 eggs, 1 carton of zucchini blossom- there were 11 in all- and no zucchini attached here, a little milk, 2-3 stalks of fresh mint, about 50g of Camembert cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg to season and some red peppercorns for a bit of extra pep and color at the end.

Actually, zucchini blossoms are pretty easily available- when you consider that most supermarkets in the world have zucchini on their shelves year-round... it is pretty logical that those plants will be producing the blossoms year-round too!


The simple, mild, creaminess of the Camembert, together with the freshness of the mint, the richness of the nutmeg and the vibrant red pepper corns make this a pretty wonderful combination!


Rinse and shake dry the zucchini blossoms and carefully snap out the stamen from the inside- you don't want to be eating them! Chop the mint up into fine strips and cut a little wedge of Camembert for each blossom you have- and yes, this IS a case of less is more! You do not want to have too much cheese in there!

Simply pop one piece of Camembert into each blossom...


...and then carefully but firmly squeeze it flat, using the ball of your thumb- don't be afraid! They are going to wilt-down whilst they cook anyway, but you want to be able to handle them and keep them in shape better to achieve a prettier result.


Add a splash of milk to the 2 eggs, a pinch of salt and pepper and plenty of nutmeg, then whisk them together and pout them into your frying pan, to which you have added just a few drops of olive oil.


Sprinkle immediately with the shredded mint leaves- it is best to do this now rather than to mix the leaves into the batter, because if you do that, you will find that they all clump together- and this way you get them nicely and evenly spread.


Next, lay out the zucchini blossom- you can lay them any which way... but this way is probably easiest and also looks wonderful- so why stress?. Sprinkle with salt, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and fry on the stove top until the eggs set.


Once the egg has set, transfer the frying pan to a pre-heated oven, with the broiler function turned on, for 5-10 minutes to finish... this will depend on your oven. Basically, as soon as that Camembert melts on the inside of the blossom, they will collapse down, cook and begin to brown really quickly- it is actually really great fun to watch!


The red pepper corns were actually an after-thought and to be honest, simply added for that touch of color... BUT- the added crunch was actually a perfect contrast to the smooth and creamy frittata and worked perfectly! And as red "pepper corns" are not actually pepper, but in fact dried, slightly astringent berries, the heat they bring is not too strong at all and is really pleasant as well as being pretty! Try it- you'll like it!

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