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13 September 2008

Fried squash blossoms (gluten-free!). I have wanted to make fried squash blossoms for years, but never had the courage -- I'm not a good fryer. I finally bit the bullet today, because the blossoms at the farmers' market were too pretty to resist, and this recipe turned out perfectly. [More:]The masa fried up really well, all crunchy and light, and managed to avoid the problems I tend to run into with flour batters, where they get all soggy and nasty.

Highly recommended! Less work than it appears!

We also had lovely steaks and sauteed radishes and greens (also from the farmers' market) and risotto with radicchio di treviso (also from the farmers' market). And a tomato and basil salad, from ikkyu's garden.

Now I am full, and tired. And I spent several hours cleaning the house today, and another couple hours doing food shopping for the week, so I have accumulated extra virtue points. Which I may trade in for another glass of merlot.
That sounds amazing - the whole dinner does. I've always wanted to try fried squash blossoms, too.
posted by Miko 13 September | 23:44
That sounds amazing - the whole dinner does.

Thanks! It was extremely yummy. And I enjoyed the risotto even more than usual because the woman who sold me the radicchio was so stunned that I had bought it. I told her I wanted a bunch and she looked at me funny, so I told her I bought a bunch last week and loved it, and her face lit up.

"It's not for everyone," she said, "because it's so bitter. But it's very nutritious!"

And it was only a dollar!

(I actually bought it the first time not really knowing it was radicchio; the outside leaves were green, which I hadn't seen on radicchio before. But that was another purchase based on my thinking, "Ooooh, pretty!" when I looked at it. Which is, really, how I do most of my farmers' market shopping.)
posted by occhiblu 13 September | 23:48
That's so funny! I love radicchio. "discovered" it when I worked in an Italian restaurant in my teens - one of the best salads was raddichio and watercress, dressed with lemon, olive oil, and black pepper, and topped with shaved parmesan. I think most bitter greens are very tasty, though, so it fits right in. I used some in an arugula salad tonight - it grills well, too, in quarters and brushed with oil & lemon and sprinkled with kosher salt.

Do you have the risotto recipe kicking around, too?
posted by Miko 14 September | 00:24
Only in my head. :-)

Mince half a large onion. Sautee over low-medium heat in a tablespoon of olive oil until translucent. Add a head of chopped radicchio and sautee until it starts to lose its red color and become brown. Add arborio rice (this is the tricky bit for me, in terms of measurement; I think about 2/3 of a cup?) and sautee for about one minute, then add half a cup of white wine. Stir briskly until the rice absorbs the wine. Add another half a cup of wine (I use a lot of wine for this because the radicchio is so bitter). Stir again until the wine is absorbed.

Now we get into the "real" recipe versus the "I have four other dishes cooking and I can't keep stirring the f'ing risotto every 30 seconds recipe."

If you're not tending anything else: Add 1/2 a cup of chicken broth at a time, stirring constantly after each addition until the rice absorbs all the liquid. It generally takes a good 30 minutes of adding and stirring until the rice has enough liquid to be fully cooked (though I like my risotto less chalky than most Americans, it seems).

If you're not in the mood for babying it: Add 2 cups of chicken broth and stir for about a minute (or add 2 cups of water and one chicken bouillon cube and stir until the cube is dissolved). Turn the heat down to low, partially cover the pan, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir it when you can so that it doesn't burn on the bottom.

After either method: When the rice is fully cooked, adjust for salt and pepper. Add one tablespoon of butter and the juice of half a lemon, and stir in. Let cool for one minute. Serve with grated parmesan.

With the white wine, the risotto turns a lovely pink color. The friend who taught me to make it actually used red wine, which turns the whole thing a cranberry color, which is really neat. I like the white wine because it's a bit sweeter, and while I like the bitterness of the radicchio it can be a bit hard to pair with other foods, so I think the white wine works best if you're using it as a side dish. But it's also good enough to eat by itself, so in that case, you can play around a little.
posted by occhiblu 14 September | 00:44
Oh, forgot to add: With the "I'm ignoring you" recipe, it might need more than 2 cups. When you check in on it, if it's burning or sticking or drying out, but not yet cooked, keep adding water and stirring it in.
posted by occhiblu 14 September | 00:46
Also, I should say: That recipe makes about 4 side servings, 2 main course servings. Leftovers keep (and microwave) relatively well.
posted by occhiblu 14 September | 00:52
Also also also: The "head" of radicchio I was using was pretty big. With the ones I see in the supermarket, which are usually about the size of my palm plus fingers, I'd use two or three heads.
posted by occhiblu 14 September | 01:01
OOH. I will have to try that sometime soon. I really wish MeCha had a favorites tool; my bookmarks are getting full :)
posted by Fuzzbean 14 September | 10:20
That sounds great - thanks for typing it out! Hope to try it soon.
posted by Miko 14 September | 22:01
David Foster Wallace is dead at 46. || The Seed & Feed Marching Abominable