2 Tbsp grated parmesan
zest of 2 lemons
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
18 zucchini blossoms, zucchini still attached, if possible; stamens removed
vegetable oil, for frying
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1 ¼ cup beer or water
pinch of baking powder
In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and thyme, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make a tempura batter by mixing together the flour, egg yolk, beer, and baking powder in a bowl, and stir it to combine. Don’t worry about making it smooth -- the classic tempura batter is actually quite lumpy.
Using a teaspoon, very carefully fill each zucchini blossom with the stuffing mixture. Press the ends of the blossoms around so that they seal the filling in. Don’t worry if they split a little, and don’t worry about making them immaculate.
Fill a large pan with oil to a depth of around 1-1/4 in (or use a deep-fat fryer, if you have one) and put it on medium heat. The oil is hot enough when a small chunk of bread dropped in it browns within a few seconds. Dip each zucchini blossom in the batter, then place carefully into the oil a batch at a time, and fry until golden. When the blossoms are nicely browned, remove and lay them on paper towels for a few seconds to drain off any excess fat, then sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Recipe from The Extraordinary Cookbook: How to Make Meals Your Friends Will Never Forget by Stefan Gates/Kyle Books, 2011.