Tempura Fried Squash Blossoms with Aioli
The end of summer is a time of fun and creativity due to the abundance of vegetables. So here is my recipe for squash blossoms, for they announce the end of summer and for me a pure pleasure of gastronomic delicacy.
Serves 4 for an appetizer
12 Squash Blossoms or zucchini flowers
1 cup (250 g) of all-purpose organic flour
1 tbsp cornstarch (organic)
¼ (300 ml) club Soda water (almost iced)
2 egg yolks
2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
Ground pink pepper (very fine) 1/2 teaspoon
½ tsp Espelette pepper (powder)
½ tsp Fleur de sel
A large cold ceramic bowl (3 hours in the refrigerator)
2 cloves of garlic (very finely minced)
1 egg yolk (room temperature)
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard (room temperature)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Aioli… the recipe:
In a large bowl (glass or ceramic) with the help of a hand whisk, vigorously mix egg yolk, mustard, salt and garlic. While stirring in the shape of an infinity S while touching the bottom of the bowl, very gently introduce the olive oil (a continuous drizzle). The mix must become firm. Gently add the lemon juice, and reserve in the refrigerator.
The flowers... the recipe:
With tweezers (Chef Tweezers/Tongs) gently remove the pistil from the flower without damaging the petals. Take the flowers by the stem (head down) and rinse the outside gently under cold water (do not get water inside the flower). Place the flowers on a paper towel to dry them out. Pinch the tail off of the stem closest to the flower. Reserve.
Add the vegetable oil in a deep fry pan and heat over medium heat.
Mix 4 tbsp (50 g) of flour in a small bowl with the pink pepper and salt and then spread in a wide flat plate.
Remove your bowl and the bottle of club soda (chilled) from the refrigerator. Pour the flour and cornstarch into the bowl and mix well. Form a well in the center and pour the two whole eggs into it. With a fork while gently pouring the soda, quickly mix all the elements (it's OK if there are a few lumps left).
Quickly roll the flower on the plate coating all sides, then soak it in the mix (cover the whole flower well) Drain excess liquid over the bowl and place in the hot oil. With your chef tweezers or tongs gently turn the flower until both sides are fried to light golden blonde. Remove from oil and place on absorbent paper towel. When all the flowers are cooked and drained, lightly sprinkle the Espelette pepper to finish.
Serve hot with the Aioli.
Bonde's suggested wine pairings:
Homewood Vineyard, Roussanne 2015, Sonoma Valley, CA, USA
Matthiasson, Rosé 2021, California
Frenchtown Farms, "Cecelia" 2020, North Yuba, Sierra Foothills, CA