Saturday, 13 February 2016

Bite The Blossom!

Sfogliatine Salati con Fiori di Zucca, Mozzarella, Acciughe, Pomodorini, Mozzarella & Menta
Little Puff-pastries with Zucchini Blossoms, Mozzarella, Anchovies, Cherry Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Mint

Zucchini Blossoms! Always irresistible to me when I see them at the market hall! I buy them, instinctively... and around half hour later, every single time... I desperately start asking myself just what I am going to do with them!

The most common preparation of course is filling them with mozzarella and anchovy and deep-frying them in an egg and flour batter... so simple and so good!

But- you know you're not going to catch me doing that in my little kitchen... I am more likely to do something like this instead!

With just 2-3 bites per blossom, I promise you, you will have such a rich, complex and wonderful explosion of flavor to relish... that you will be taking 2-3 more before you know it! These are seriously good appetizers, folks!

To make 12 little pastries, I needed just 2/3rds of a roll of puff pastry, 12 zucchini blossoms, 2-3 anchovies, 6 cherry tomatoes, 1 ball of Mozzarella, 1 egg, fresh mint and parsley, 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs, a little milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Zucchini, mint, mozzarella, anchovy, egg, tomato, nutmeg... oh boy! These are dainty little bites with an incredible amount of flavor... you're going to love them!

Cut your mozzarella up into a chunky dice, cut the cherry tomatoes simply in half and finely chop up those herbs... and in the meantime... turn on the oven to get it hot, hot, hot!

Carefully open the blossoms, snap out and discard the stamen inside, then pop in a half of a cherry tomato and a small piece of anchovy into each one.

In a bowl, stir together the egg, with a splash of milk, 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs, the finely chopped herbs and the remaining mozzarella, after setting 12 chunks aside to fill the blossoms with. Chop this little left-over of mozzarella into a small dice and add it into the mix. Add a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper and nutmeg and simply stir with a fork.

Using a cookie cutter of 4" or so, cut the puff pastry into circles and lay these out in the base of a muffin tray. Add just a teaspoon or so of the egg/mozzarella/herb mix to each one- seriously, no more than that or it will simply boil over and your pastries will be ruined.

Pop a chunk of mozzarella into each blossom to cover the tomato and anchovy, twist shut and press down gently and then set one of the blossoms onto each base. 

brush very lightly with olive oil, to prevent the blossoms from dehydrating and burning too quickly in the oven, and bake at 180°C for between 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and deliciously aromatic!

Serve lukewarm or cold... or if you can't wait- piping hot! Only- if you do... be careful of that hot mozzarella and hot tomato!!!

Yes, they are small... but just take a look at all of that goodness you will be enjoying in each bite! And by all means DO enjoy!

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