Sunday, April 30, 2006

zucchini blossoms and ramps

i'm in grad school and over the next two weeks i have a term paper, a final exam in phsycholinguistics, and a comprehensive exam covering the two years of ESL methodology and linguistics i have been studying. once all that's over, my church's street fair hits on sat. may 13. i'm the co-chair. i may call in sick on the 14th. i have had moments lately when i think, how did i get here? how did this happen?
i'm busy but not entirely overwhelmed. i think the good weather helps.

i went to the greenmarket yesterday. i swear i meant to buy honey, bread, and eggs. instead, i walked out with four or five bags and made the following meal, recipes below. i'm becoming much more conscious of eating locally and seasonally. i'm buying more and more stuff at the greenmarket. i'm also becoming more and more suspicious of the food industry - i.e. kraft, nestle, etc. this is so not how god intended us to live. we came from a metaphorical garden and we're pooping all over it.

mache salad with olives and lemon juice

fried stuffed zucchini blossoms

ramp and mushroom risotto

strawberry rhubarb pie

zucchini blossoms are the flowers that grow on the zucchini plant. they are yellow and fat and gorgeous. this recipe is a traditional jewish roman recipe.

friend stuffed zucchini blossoms
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/8 cups chilled seltzer or club soda
16 zucchini blossoms, pistils removed if desired
fresh mozzarella cheese

Vegetable oil for deep-frying
batter stand 10 minutes. If necessary, thin batter with enough remaining seltzer to reach consistency of crepe batter.
Stuff each blossom with some mozzarella, pressing ends of blossoms closed.
In a deep heavy skillet heat 1 inch oil to 375 degrees on a deep-fat thermometer. Working quickly in batches, dip blossoms in batter, coating each completely, and fry in hot oil, turning, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until golden and crisp. With a slotted spoon transfer blossoms as fried to paper towels to drain. (Make sure oil returns to 375 degrees before adding each new batch.)
Sprinkle blossoms with salt to taste and serve warm.

ramps are wild onions that grow on mountain sides only during late april, early may - you can harvest them for about 4 weeks so they are a major specialty. this recipe should take a few minutes of prep and the risotta takes about 20 minutes to cook. it's easy but you can't walk away from the stove and you have to serve it immediately.

i cup risotto rice
4 cups vegetable stock
bunch of ramps
handful of mushrooms
white wine
parmesan cheese
olive oil

saute the shroom and ramps until tender
add rice, heat in pan for about 1 minute
add one or two ladlefuls of stock, let simmer
stir and as stock gets absorbed, ladle in more, a bit at a time.
when almost finished, add a jigger of wine and grate some cheese on top.

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