Frying Blossoms & Leaves

For The Love of Sage

I like to have a vase of it on my window sill, besides looking good, I love to cook with sage too, especially with the freshly picked sage smelling so good once on your kitchen countertop. 

Hint-Hint; 

To a friend of mine to keep a pot or two of fresh herbs at home, now there is both time and location, and they bring you happiness! 😉

There are the traditional ways to use sage, as I wrote in PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSMARY, AND THYME. But there are a few unconventional uses, for example to make a very scented pesto; see SAGE PESTO – FOR A CHANGE, and to eat the leaves fried. And yes they are good! 

Blooms & Leaves

When I see all those zucchini blooms among the vegetables I can resist but to buy them and take them home, because as summer sets in, for me comes the TIME TO FRY THE BLOOMS.

Zucchini blossoms don’t have a shelf-life to speak of, so they need to be done as soon as possible. The blooms alone can be a nice snack to be served with an aperitif, but if we want to add something else, like in fact sage leaves, and something more substantial like zucchini julienne, and then, why not a sliced eggplant to top it all!

For the leaves we need the ”giant” sage type, and it becomes a beautiful pre-meal, appetizer, much better than the usual chips. If then there is zucchini and eggplants it becomes a full-fledged second course to make any vegetarian hard core guest very happy. 

The Methods

The frying methods are the same, however, my favorite is with beer;

The beer batter is the ideal preparation for frying vegetables: a smooth and light mixture, without eggs or yeast or baking soda, which will make your fried crispy, light and golden, as well as dry.  For the preparation you will only need flour, cold beer, preferably blonde, extra virgin olive oil or seed and salt.  In a few minutes you can thus prepare a batter with a delicate flavor: the taste of beer, in fact, doesn’t transfer after cooking.

The amount of beer in the recipe is approximate, as it depends on how thick you want your batter to be.  This is also based on the frying you have to make: for vegetables, a thick batter is better, so as to wrap them better.  If, on the other hand, it is too thick for your preparation, then add another spoonful of beer.

Preparation

Once the batter is done, the vegetables need to be immersed, but gently, into the batter and then fried.

First the zucchini cut in little sticks, or julienne, to use a more professional word. If in the real good mood I would add some eggplants, but for this purpose the most suitable are the long and thin ones, sliced rather thin, and let them to rest for about an hour, the same resting time of the batter, so that they loose the “bitter water” they have inside. 

Fry them in hot oil, drain them in kitchen paper and then serve them as appetizer with a fresh white wine. 

Directions are also here, from Epicurious! 

Delicious. 

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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