Friday, July 11, 2014

FFWD - Goats Cheese Filled Pansies - An Alternative to Shrimp-filled Zucchini Blossoms


It is the middle of winter here in Melbourne - it is grey and blustery and cold.  All zucchini plants are very sensibly hibernating for the winter, and will not be presenting any precious blossoms for many months yet.  Accordingly, this week's French Friday with Dorie recipe, Shrimp-filled Zucchini Blossoms, posed a unique challenge for me. 

A Google search suggested that I could use small peppers instead of zucchini blossoms for the recipe.  However, peppers would not have the same delicate quality as the zucchini blossoms, and I wanted to capture that somehow.  Accordingly, my mind turned to other edible flowers.  My local DJs sells edible flowers of various varieties.  They are not cheap, but then, nor are zucchini blossoms, so in the spirit of scientific endeavour, I bought some "vivid velvet" purple pansies to use for this week's recipe.

Instead of stuffing my flowers with shrimp, I used Dorie's goats cheese bonne idee, because I already had goats cheese, and it would glue the pansy petals together better than shrimp.  Unfortunately, the olive tapenade that I thought I could use was looking decidedly past its prime, so I left (threw!) that out, and I used parsley instead of basil (because I grow it for free).

When making the batter for my fried, stuffed pansies, I used sparkling mineral water instead of club soda, because I had it on hand.  It seemed to work perfectly.

I think my pansy fritters turned out quite well, as evidenced by the photo at the top of this post.  The goats cheese filling was very tasty, and the flowers were a mere vehicle for the filling, so it didn't matter that they were purple pansies instead of yellow zucchini blossoms.  I dipped my fritters in Mrs Ball's Chutney - seriously delish!  I ate this dish of fritters for lunch, with a few leftovers to reheat for another time.

To see what the other Doristas did with this recipe, visit the LYL section of the website.

22 comments:

Mardi Michels said...

I always feel sorry that most of the recipes are geared towards the Northern Hemisphere but you always manage so well and cheerfully! I think you did a magnificent job with these - well done!

Johanna GGG said...

Great idea - up there for thinking! I never know which flowers you can use and which you can't because I worry about chemicals on them - did DJs advise you on that or just sell you flowers?

Cakelaw said...

Hi Johanna, they are sold as edible flowers in the fruit and vege section of the Bourke St store. I have long admired them, and this use doesn't let people see how pretty they are.

Ei said...

Way to make the best of scant ingredients!! I've never really eaten other types of flower before. It would never have occurred to me to use pansies instead.

Liz Berg said...

What a terrific option!!! A beautiful platter of pansies :)

Cher Rockwell said...

I am impressed with your creativity on this one.
Even though the blossoms are supposed to be in season up here, I had very little luck getting a hold of any.
It really was all about the filling, wasn't it?

Ivy Sew said...

Hi Cakelaw, great and awesome recipe of using edible flowers in fritters. Looks great and yummylicious! Thanks for sharing and regards :)

Kathy said...

What a brillant idea! I would have never thought to use pansies! They look so pretty…so glad they turned out delish! I also used sparkling water…it’s what I had and it worked just fine! Happy Weekend!

Emily said...

These look delicious! I love goat cheese!

Diane Balch said...

Such a brilliant improvision. Did you know before hand that pansies were a substitute. I would have never thought of using them.

Diane Zwang said...

I am impressed, they look beautiful. I couldn't get zucchini blossoms either.

Arisuchan said...

HI!!! how exciting that you found other edible blossoms!!! :) I bet they were just as tasty - and the chutney sounds great! I miss all the chutneys I could get in the UK - I've been trying to make some from scratch here that somewhat resemble my favorites...

Cakelaw said...

Definitely - the flowers are just the cups for the delish filling.

Cakelaw said...

No - I had seen the edible flowers before, and when I set my mind to how I would tackle this recipe, I remembered them.

Betsy said...

You definitely get highest marks for you fritters. I mean it's winter where you are! It's summer for me but I'm waiting for my backyard plant to put out some blooms. When it does it might be goats cheese filling for me too. You make it sound like the right choice.

oneexpatslife.com said...

Well done figuring out how to participate in the middle of winter. Yours really don't even look like a compromise at all, they look perfect! I so enjoy that our group has particpants from far and wide, but it does indeed challange those who are not in the majority hemisphere.

Von said...

Wow... I didn't know they sold edible flowers at DJs! :O Probably because I only ever look at the chocolate section haha :) But the pansies look awesome! And looks so delicious too!

KarenP said...

It's good to know a different type of edible flower will work if my garden doesn't come through. Yours look delicious!

Mary Hirsch said...

Well, you're genius, Gaye, for figuring out a g-r-e-a-t alternative to our "Yes, it's Summertime in the Northern Hemisphere"-recipes. I think the flower really wasn't the point of the recipe, it was, as you say, merely the "base" and a flowering-anything would work. It looks delicious, especially your sauce. You get the Good Sport award this week.

Teresa said...

Those turned out beautifully and I like the idea of chutney with them. It's wonderful that you can get edible flowers at the market. I was happy to have some zucchini flowers from my own garden (sort of) in time for the assignment. I think we should have a Southern Hemisphere month before we're done.

dulceshome.com said...

What a brilliant idea! I was never able to find any zucchini blossoms (I can only grow herbs and cherry tomatoes...), but I do have nasturtiums in the garden. Hmmm...

Yours look delicious!

Kayte said...

Oh, I love that you stuffed the pansies! How fun and clever and cute was that!! It's hard to come by some ingredients when you need them sometimes, no matter how hard you try and how much you want to and what you are willing to spend! I think your solution was a great recipe on its own...fun to see and read about.