Summer Treat: Stuffed and Fried Zucchini Flowers

I grew up in a small town in Upstate New York, with a significant Italian and Italian-American population. It wasn't until I was older that I realized many people don't consider a huge, steaming plate of linguine and white clam sauce a light snack on a hot summer day.

What I am trying to say is: the Italian kids ate a little differently, especially when we were in our grandmothers' kitchens. One of my favorite summer treats was -- and is -- fried zucchini blossoms; I particularly like them stuffed with herbed cheese. The blossoms have been readily available at the Saturday morning Urban Harvest Farmers' Market lately, and against my better judgment I'm going to share this recipe with you, even though I know it means I'm risking a blossom sell-out by the time I get to the market. These little appetizers are time-consuming, but well worth the effort.

You will need: Zucchini flowers (male--they have a stem but are not attached to a squash); AP flour; one egg; ice-cold water; salt; pepper; cream cheese or ricotta cheese; pecorino Romano; two-three cloves garlic, chopped; fresh, chopped herbs; frying oil.

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Christina Uticone