May 11, 2010

Eat Your Flowers

Tempura Frizzled Herb Blossoms
Light, crispy, aromatic appetizer-on-it's-own-stick tempura frizzled herb blossoms... Mmmm. Served with a chilled white wine on a late spring afternoon at the peak of afternoon warmth, this is a lovely snack. If you happen to be sitting in the Oregon countryside observing an impending but far off rain cloud, all the better. After all, those April showers have brought May flowers. You may as well eat them. The blossoms would make a nice little starter for company as well.
The sage and chive blossoms in their herb pots at our back door inspired this dish. Catch the blossoms while they are young and tender for the most subtle flavor. Serve with a little aioli on the side.

Tempura Frizzled Herb Blossoms

Washed and well-dried herb blossoms (chive, sage, oregano, etc.), long stems intact (do this up to several ours in advance, as your blossoms need to be impeccable dry for the batter to stick and to avoid massive oil splattering)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan or Parmesan-Reggiano
pinch salt
a few grinds of fresh black pepper
3/4 cup seltzer or club soda, more or less

Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in seltzer or club soda until batter is smooth and lump-free, adding more liquid as necessary to make a thinnish batter.

Heat 1/2 inch canola or vegetable oil to 355 degrees in a heavy skillet. Swirl a few blossoms into the batter, shaking off excess over bowl. Place blossoms into heated oil, leaving stem ends out of the oil. With tongs, turn frequently to brown evenly on all sides, a total of 1-2 minutes per blossom. I found it easiest to put only 3-4 blossoms into the oil at once, as they do require constant attention and turning to keep from burning. Bring oil back to temperature after each batch and do it again until all blossoms are crispy and brown.

Consume with dispatch with a glass of chilled white wine.

11 comments:

  1. I never knew that you could eat the chive blossoms. I have some now.

    Thanks for teaching me something new! :-)

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  2. What a beautiful post! I'd love to try these.

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  3. What a unique recipe! I have never tried this before. This would be a great appetizer to wow you guests with!

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  4. I know its too early in the morning but I do really like your suggestion on the white wine! :D Nice recipe, the only flower I've cooked with before are banana blossoms. This is interesting.

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  5. What a great recipe!
    I love the idea of this dish. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Did you try them with a particular type of white wine? My first guesses would be Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, but I am pondering what other wines might go with the flavors.

    Jason

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  7. my goodness... i never thought of herb blossoms before... great idea! thank you for sharing.

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  8. Chive blossoms in food? That's new for me! Thanks for a great post.

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  9. I love the idea, too! (A friend told me to try dandelion blossoms!)

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  10. What a stunning idea! I can't wait to try this.

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  11. Interesting and lovely post. Who would have thought of combining herb blossom with tempura.

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