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Zucchini Blossoms

From Bradford Thompson, the Phoenician Restaurant
/ Source: TODAY


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 6 oz. arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 cups stock or water
  • 1 cup shellfish cooking liquid
  • ½ cup tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons marscarpone cheese
  • 8 oz. small clams, scrubbed well
  • 24 large zucchini flowers

For the breading

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs

Steam open all the clams and muscles and reserve the liquid. Keep the shellfish wrapped in plastic to avoid any drying out. Remove all the meat from the shellfish, reserving two of each in the shell per person. Take the meat that has been removed and use in the risotto.

To make the risotto, sweet the onion in olive oil over low heat until translucent. Add saffron and the rice and toast lightly. Deglaze with white wine and begin adding the stock 2-4 ounces at a time, slowly cooking until al dente. Remove from the heat and check seasoning. Mix in shellfish juice, tomatoes, marscarpone and shellfish meat. Pour into a platter until ready to use.

Using a piping bag, fill the zucchini blossoms with the rice mix (make sure it is at room temperature) and place in the refrigerator. When they are cold you can form them and begin breading.

To bread the blossoms, roll them in flour and pat off excess. Dip them in the egg mixture, drain, and then roll in bread crumbs. Keep in the refrigerator, unwrapped, until ready to fry.