Friday, July 11, 2008

Cool Beets, Tasty Bud

Quail Eggs, Golden Beet Bruschetta and Fried Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Hey- it's been a while. But I'm back, and the farmer's markets are in full swing, bringing things to my fridge the likes of which I have never seen. Today, I'm posting three appetizers I've discovered in the past few weeks. They involve some interesting specialty ingredients: quail eggs, golden beets and zucchini blossoms. If you are lucky enough to come across these things, here's what you can do with them...

Quail Eggs

"I don't even know what a quail is!"
-The Wedding Crashers

You may get your guests to say "Ooh, how dainty!" by serving these. Honestly, they're just little tiny eggs- nothing special except that they're kind of cute in a bite-sized way. They also make a simple but impressive appetizer, and cook up like any other egg, just faster. Place the itty bitty eggs in a good, solid pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and boil for two minutes. Turn the heat off and leave them there for another 3-4 minutes, then rinse in cold water. Peeling quail eggs is a fairly delicate operation, but the thin shells are more likely to come off in one piece than a chicken eggshell. I served mine with a tiny dish of seasoned salt and some toothpicks.

Golden Beet Bruschetta

A golden beet is just a variety of beet that isn't red inside. This eliminates one of the main hassels of preparing beets- dealing with the juice that stains everything it touches. I roasted my beets for 20 minutes, chopped, marinated and chilled them for a refreshing and colorful treat on crusty bread.

3-4 golden beets, roasted and diced
1 tomato, diced
1 tbsp. scallion, sliced into thin rings
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
salt (to taste)
black pepper
fresh basil, shredded

Prepare beets and marinate in dressing and seasonings, adding tomato and scallion just before serving. Mix well, and heap onto thin slices of crusty bread.

Fried Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Fontina Cheese

Now here's a fancy little dish. Notice how I hardly fry anything, and how I'm making an exception here. Really, there is no other way to appreciate the delicate zucchini blossom.

6 zucchini blossoms
1/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)

These orange, trumpet-like flowers should be gently washed and patted dry. Then you can stuff them (not too much) with a little cheese and twist the ends closed. Dip them in a mix of the flour and water, and fry them till golden. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and serve quickly.

1 comment:

adele said...

You have zucchini blossoms at your farmer's market?

I haven't seen them anywhere in Boston, and I've been longing to make zucchini blossom risotto.