As we pay greater attention to where our food comes from, our health and the health of what we’re consuming, even the most carnivorous eaters are taking a break from meat – at least occasionally. Of course, it can be challenging to follow Meatless Monday, the international campaign to eat vegetarian on Mondays, without making it Carb-Lovers’ Monday. So we’ve turned to area chefs for a little inspiration. Today, Bon Vivant dishes up their Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Blossom served with Roasted Beets and Basil Pesto.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Blossom served with Roasted Beets and Basil Pesto
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup soda water
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
- 1/3 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 zucchini blossoms – Zucchini blossoms can be found at farmer’s markets and specialty grocery stores.
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda water and salt until smooth. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, basil, and shallot onion. Mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons filling into each blossom. Close the blossoms and gently twist the petals to seal.
- 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 dripoff. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown.
- Allow the cooked blossoms to drain on paper towels.
- 1 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 cloves garlic
- 1/8 cup pine nuts
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil andprocess until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.
- If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.
- 2 medium red beets, tops removed and scrubbed
- 2 medium golden beets, tops removed and scrubbed
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Put a large piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and put the beets on it. Drizzle olive oil over them and wrap them tightly in the foil, making a packet.
- Roast until a knife inserted into the largest beet meets no resistance, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Cool and remove the skins by rubbing the beets with a paper towel. (Gloves are a good idea to prevent staining your hands.)
- Slice the beets thinly and put aside until ready to serve.
Season the zucchini blossom with salt and serve with roasted red and golden beet carpaccio and basil pesto.