Dorrie Belisle, co-owner of Bellewood Acres at 231 Ten Mile Road, says “We always have lots of pumpkin flowers. For many countries they are used in stir fries or stuffed. Here is a recipe for stuffed pumpkin flowers that is a favorite of ours.”
STUFFED PUMPKIN FLOWERS
Serves 4 to 6.
Preparation 30 minutes, cooking 10 minutes.
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This recipe is perfect as an entree, particularly with a Thai-Italian menu. Best cooked just before serving, you can prepare the flowers and make the filling two hours ahead.
200 grams Ricotta cheese
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
1½ clovse garlic
Crushed freshly ground black pepper
20 pumpkin flowers
Olive or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Lemon wedges and sea salt flakes, for serving, optional
150 grams plain flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups cold soda water
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
Combine the cheeses, chives, breadcrumbs and garlic in a small bowl; season to taste with pepper. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with or without a large plain tube. Open the pumpkin flowers and remove the stamens from the center with a teaspoon; discard stamens. Pipe cheese mixture into flowers, twist petal tops to enclose filling. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer, large wok or deep saucepan to 356 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, for the batter, sift flour into a bowl, add remaining ingredients. Mix quickly with a fork; the batter will still be lumpy. Dip the pumpkin flowers into the batter; drain away excess. Deep-fry pumpkin flowers, in batches, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly golden and crisp.
Serve pumpkin flowers immediately with lemon and a little sea salt, if desired. You can keep them warm in a slow oven for a few minutes, if necessary.