Monday, July 4, 2011

Meal of the Week: 7/3/2011-fried squash blossoms, a floral salad, and chilled tomato-basil soup

Zzyzx Road Kitchen's Meal of the Week:
July 3, 2011
A Festival of Flowers

A salad of flowers and toasted coconut, in my precious Talavera pottery bowl that I bought in Monterrey, Mexico, straight from the potter who made it.  I couldn't bear to shrink this photo – it was such a gorgeous, colorful salad, and in a bowl suited perfectly to bring out those colors.

You have no idea how hard it was to wait until Sunday to write-up this meal.  It just might be the best meal to ever come out of the Zzyzx Road Kitchen.  It's all about fresh produce and flowers!  Yes, I said flowers!  The edible kind!

I was so excited when I saw on the Seattle Farmers' Markets' website that the "new and fresh this week" list included squash blossoms!  I couldn't wait for the market on Sunday.  We went straight to our favorite produce booth, Found and Foraged, when we got to the West Seattle Market and cleaned up on squash/zucchini blossoms.  They were even nice enough to leave us the small fruits (yellow squash, zucchini, and zucchino) with the flowers attached.

It was really hot last weekend.  Okay and sunny by Seattle standards, so we put the top down on the VW, and nearly blew Bevvie out of the backseat in the wind over the West Seattle Bridge.  Poor thing - her life was so much easier before we rolled the Land Rover down Mt. Darland.

Squash/Zucchini/Zucchino blossoms, frying

The finished product, ready for dipping and eating!

I made mustard-balsamic dipping sauce, and the five of us devoured 3 pounds of fried zucchini blossoms in about 15 minutes.  We should have gained 20 pounds each...

Next up was a salad made with wood violet, which has amazing, w/soft lavender flowers, and wood sorrel, with tiny white flowers. I tossed it with my kick-ass homemade vinaigrette, when topped it with toasted coconut, asiago cheese, and brilliantly-colored nasturtium blossoms. Such a hit, and Bev loved the idea of eating flowers for dinner.

For the main course, I made a cold tomato-basil-mint soup, out of pureed fresh Roma tomatoes, and two cans of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes, fresh basil and mint leaves, several cloves of garlic, and a bit of caraway and lime thyme, garnished with parmesan, Italian flat-leaf parsley, and toasted coconut.
Chilled Tomato, Basil, and Mint Soup w/a garnish of basil, parsley.
parmesan, and toasted coconut

With my handy immersion blender, I pureed the whole thing until it was smooth.  I put it in the fridge in my big yellow bowl, and kept changing out freezer packs to cool it off enough that it would be nice and chilled by the time we were through with the salad.  It was heavenly.  Lou and Mom both took some to work, and with what was left, I used as a base a red wine and red balsamic sauce for my mom's chicken and angel hair.  It's what she chose for her birthday dinner.  Great choice, Mom.

Our awesome new/stop & swap patio set, all ready for dinner.

Stay tuned for recipes.   None of this is very difficult, providing that you check to see if your flowers are edible or poisonous.  It's all in the details.*S*  Seriously, the soup  was a cinch.

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Scram, bitch, I'm on a break.

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