Tempura Battered Zucchini Blossoms

Serves 6 as an appetizer with a little leftover filling. Not that you’ll mind though, it’s delicious enough to lick from a spoon or spread on toast.

Ingredients:

-2 slices thick cut bacon, diced
-2 tablespoons sliced garlic scapes (about 2)
-3 ounces goat cheese (6 tablespoons)
-1 tablespoon half and half
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-¼ teaspoon sea salt
-12 zucchini blossoms
-1/8 teaspoon black pepper
-1 cup rice flour
-½ teaspoon sea salt
-1 cup club soda
-Vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
-Honey, for serving if desired

Method:

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it is sizzled and has rendered much of its fat, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic scapes and sauté an additional 3-4 minutes until they have softened slightly. Drain off any excess fat using a strainer or on paper

Allow mixture to cool slightly (about to room temperature) so it is easier to handle and mix with the goat cheese, half and half, lemon juice, salt and pepper until well combined.

Spoon 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons filling into each blossom. Close the blossoms and gently twist the petals to seal.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and soda water until smooth. Set aside.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F. (If you don’t have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 1 minute.) Dip the stuffed zucchini blossoms in the batter and allow any excess batter to drip off. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, turning occasionally, until light golden in color. Allow the cooked blossoms to drain on paper towels.

Drizzle blossoms with honey, if desired, to serve.

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