Aaron, my husband of 3 weeks, and I are very thorough people. We love to experiment and seek to develop a whim into our magnum opus. In this case, we will likely need to wait a full 12 months for our next attempt until Zucchini plants in my own garden begin to flower. Whilst I traipsed about Twitter last week, I came across a mention of Zucchini Flowers, which called to mind a Risotto con Fiori di Zucca that I enjoyed in Rome at Hostaria Costanza and which has retained the title of "best dish I have ever eaten." I have never found Zucchini Flowers, nor have I ever looked exceptionally well. But, last week something changed in me. I couldn’t go on eating pizza and fish sticks (never together), I had to return to my gourmet ways!
My new friend on Twitter, @Chef2Chef from www.chef2chef.net was ready and willing to supply me with a recipe using zucchini flowers – not the risotto I craved; just as well as I would have been disappointed in my inability to perform at the highest culinary levels. The recipe was for zucchini flowers stuffed with goat cheese, dipped in a light batter, fried and served with a zucchini pesto. Though ordinarily completely incapable of f following a recipe, this one I followed to the letter. It was terrific, although I do wish there was slightly more detail surrounding tricks of the trade.
Make sure that the goat cheese is close to room temperature so that as you put the stuffed zucchini blossoms in the frier, it doesn't cool the oil too much! Also, make sure you use plenty of cayenne if you want to add some zest to the flowers. We only used 1 cup of cold seltzer water as opposed to the 2 cups listed and that seemed to be sufficient. With the goat cheese, less is more - don't over stuff the blossoms as the dish is rich enough!
24 zucchini blossoms 1/2 c goat cheese 1 1/2 qt olive oil1 c all-purpose flour 2 c chilled seltzer water or ice-water
sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 medium zucchini; (about 8 ounces) 2 tbsp parmesan cheese; grated 2 tbsp pine nuts30 basil leaves; (approximately - ¾ cup loosely packed) 1/4 tsp finely chopped garlic 6 oz extra virgin olive oil 1 sea salt and freshly cracked - black pepper to taste
For the Blossoms: Carefully stuff each zucchini blossom with 1 teaspoon of the goat cheese. Fold over the petals to form an envelope.
In a deep skillet or deep fryer, heat the oil to 375 degrees. Meanwhile put the flour in a mixing bowl. Pour in the seltzer a little at a time, whisking constantly to ensure a smooth batter. Season with salt and cayenne. When the oil is properly heated, dip a stuffed blossom into the batter to coat it evenly, scraping off any excess. Fry until crisp and golden, about 30 seconds per side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat process with all blossoms, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet and maintaining the proper oil temperature.
For the Pesto: Quarter zucchini and cut into 1 inch pieces. Blanch zucchini for 2 minutes in salted boiling water, and then shock in ice bath to preserve color. Drain well and pat dry with cloth. Place blanched zucchini, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, basil leaves, garlic, in food processor and start to puree. With the motor running, pour the olive oil through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream until the pesto emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
We have the winners! Winners, contact email@example.com for your 50 percent off coupon good for any item in our shop.
Pinwheels Dress: Desiree, named by Chelsey
Flax Bag: Sadie, named by Bernadette
Apron: Penelope, named by Lexiloo
Pillowcase Dress: Summer Joy, named by Valerie.
And participants, thank you for all the wonderful entries! It was soooo hard to choose the winners, as you guys had so many great ideas. If you entered the contest, please email me for a coupon code good for a half-price baglette with any purchase.
So this is the last item we have to launch! It's available in our shop right now for $22, but it needs a name...
For girls between 7-10 years old, these summer play dresses feature a sash in the back and coconut buttons from neck to hem along the front. In shades of purple, teal, and brown, this fun dress will become a quick favorite of your little girl.
Small: 28" long, 12.5" at waist
Medium: 29" long, 14" at waist
Large: 30.5" long, 14.75" at waist
Doesn't it look perfect to wear when eating a rainbow snow-cone or a drippy ice cream cone? What do you think we should call her?
Entries accepted until Wednesday, July 21. Winner will receive a 50 percent off coupon good for one item in our shop, and all participants will qualify for a half-price baglette with any purchase!
The name suggestions are pouring in, and we're going to have a hard time choosing! But, time for today's big reveal. Two summer-y purses! At 12.5" wide by 10" tall, these bags are big enough for all the essentials without being so big that they morph into a bottomless pit. These bags are made from all-natural flax fibers lined with a cotton print. They have piping in a coordinating scarlet or teal color, a fun grommet detail at the straps, and a couple of perfect pleats at the top seam. And if you love the lining more than the flax, the purses are reversible!
Choose your favorite color today and you can pick one up in our shop for $25! (All our other new products are for sale as well.)
You have until Wednesday, July 21 to suggest names. Remember - the winner will get a 50 percent off coupon good for any item in our shop, and all participants will qualify for a half-priced baglette with any purchase!
In our last line, we debuted the Elle... a fun and funky reversible apron. It was such a hit that we decided to do take-two.
This beautiful lady is decked out in the colors of a late summer evening. And with the bold floral print on one side and a leaf motif on the other, she's hinting at fall with her autumnal prints.
You get the choice of a green polka-dot sash and neck-tie or a brown one... take your pick! This apron is already available in our shop for $30! So while you're helping us come up with a name, maybe you'll want to pick out your favorite and get it on the way!
Naming contest closes on Wed., July 21. The winner will get a 50 percent off coupon for anything in our shop, and all participants will get the chance to get a half-price baglette with any purchase.
We've been quiet these last few weeks... sorry friends. Lots of reasons for that. Eileen was busy becoming a McKean (it was a beautiful wedding, and I'm super-excited she's officially my sister-in-law) and I was getting ready for a trip to the USA (it is SOO GOOD to be home!). We were all taking a bit of time off from Scarlet Threads, but we were busy behind the scenes... Getting ready to launch our summer/fall line!
And you know what we need for these new products? NAMES!
Just like last time, we're hosting a naming contest for our newest products... the winner of each will get a 50 percent off coupon for any item in our store, and all participants will qualify for a special offer -- a half-price baglette with any purchase!
All the products are available for purchase (under temporary names) in our shop, but we'll be posting one a day for the next few days here on the Scarlet Threads blog for you to name.
So without further ado, here's the first product. It's part of our new line... dresses for little girls! The dress is a steal at only $20... especially considering how adorable it is.
What do you think... should we give them girls' names (like the aprons)? Or something more whimsical and fun? We're not sure what we think, so give us your best ideas!
Name suggestions will be accepted until Wednesday, July 21! Leave a comment here or on our facebook page to suggest a name.
Scarlet Threads is a compassionate boutique, specializing in fairly-traded handmade aprons and wire art. We're working to transform the lives of rural men & women across the globe through dignified and safe employment opportunities. You can be a part of our vision by purchasing one of our beautiful products! www.scarletthreads.org
While our blog seems to suggest that ST guarantees your baking will improve by merely wearing our apron... we merely suggest that baking frequency may increase and point to anecdotal reports that practice makes perfect.*