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French Fridays with Dorie: shrimp-filled zucchini blossoms

Zucchini blossoms on eatlivetravelwrite.comI just happened to have been in the right place, at the right time when searching for ingredients for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (shrimp-stuffed zucchini squash blossoms, p 186). Also, with the right person. Neil and I just spent over a week in Nérac which is where I was making this dish where there just happens to be one of my most favourite markets ever  (you can read about it in my post from a couple of years ago here).

We did a quick scan of the entire market en route to the café where we enjoyed a pain au chocolat and a cafè crème whilst I went over the list of what we needed to get (because at that market if you don’t have a list, you will totally come away with more produce that you could ever use – it all looks SO beautiful!).

Good morning from #Nérac ! Slept in this morning (!), fuelling up for the market now....Fortunately, I had the squash blossoms listed there – with a question mark as I wasn’t sure if we would find them but eagle-eyed Mr Neil spotted the last barquette (8 mini-zucchinis complete with blossoms for €3 !). We scooped them up (when it’s the last of anything at the market, the gloves come off – you have to be assertive otherwise you’ll miss out!) along with a few other choice items…

Market haul on eatlivetravelwrite.com(ahem, yes, my espadrilles totally match my basket – not on purpose but then again I DO love liquorice allsorts and they both kinda resemble those!)

Now, about the recipe. I’ve never worked with squash blossoms before so wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

1. They are very delicate (duh!). Folks with less-than-slender fingers should be warned they are not easy to work with. That would be me.

2. If you are stuffing them, make sure the stuffing is smaller than the length of the blossom. Otherwise it will be difficult to “close” the tops of the petals and, ultimately, fry them neatly. So, that was my case – I had much bigger shrimp than I thought and certainly bigger than the blossoms.

3. I don’t know that they needed to be stuffed with a shrimp. They were nice enough, I just thought it was overkill…

4. The batter, on the other hand, oh my – what a revelation. Tempura batter, made with fizzy water. Wow. I’ll be using that one again.

5. I will make these again, should I see them in a market. But I might just lightly dip them in a tempura batter and eat them “nature“. Sometimes simple is best.

Dorie Greenspan shrimp stuffed zucchini blossoms on eatlivetravelwrite.com(excuse the plating. I was making do with what what in my tiny rental kitchen!)

Get the recipe for Dorie’s shrimp filled zucchini blossoms here.

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Many of you will know I’m in France for most of the summer. While I will be eventually blogging about things I do here, the best way to keep up with me will be by following my photos which you can do on my Summer 2014 set on Flickr or Instagram where I am @eatlivtravwrite (if you don’t have the app on your phone you can still check out the photos online.

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Canadian readers: Win a copy of Molly Wizenberg’s “Delancey” Closes Sunday July 13th 2014 6pm EST. Details here.

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18 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: shrimp-filled zucchini blossoms

  1. Cakelaw July 11, 2014 at 04:58 #

    Yay – you were in the right place, and those blossoms are beauties. I love liquorice allsorts too – I am currently in the Qantas Club awaiting a flight to Brisbane and have a stash of liquorice allsorts beside me from their lolly jar.

  2. Ei July 11, 2014 at 06:09 #

    woohoo! Beautiful flowers. Never fear–I would never criticize someone else’s plating. ha. I’m the worst. I agree–few things on earth beat a simple fried zucchini flower. No filling necessary. And this batter was perfect.

  3. Liz July 11, 2014 at 06:45 #

    I was shocked that I actually found zucchini blossoms! Lucky you with all your yummy market finds! And that tempura batter was to.die.for!!! Lovely job, my friend!

  4. Cher July 11, 2014 at 07:55 #

    Obviously, I need a Mr. Neil to take with me to the farmer’s market… (Do you rent him out?) Gorgeous!

    • Mr. Neil July 11, 2014 at 08:40 #

      Never mind seeking Miss Mardi’s permission: Mr. Neil is available, standard payment rules apply (i.e. he gets a sampling plate of finished product). ;-)

  5. Mr. Neil July 11, 2014 at 08:43 #

    Mardi’s right re having a list. Even WITH said list, that basket was full to bursting. To the point where Mr. Neil had to sit with it, whilst Mardi ran off to get a couple things – ahem – on the list that were not IN said overflowing basket…

    I liked these, and was pleased with the quick tempura batter.

    Agree if we had more blossoms, some blossoms alone dipped would have been nice, for those non-seafood people.

    I paired with – what else? – a zippy bottle of local rose.

  6. Kathy July 11, 2014 at 13:14 #

    I love all the marvelous things you picked up at the farmers market! Your blossoms look beautiful! We loved the tempura batter, too! I filled some of mine with ricotta…delish!

  7. Susan July 11, 2014 at 13:33 #

    Just gorgeous! And what could be better than French Fridays in France?!?

  8. Diane Balch July 11, 2014 at 16:58 #

    Yes, the tempura batter was a revelation… it was the best sticking one I’ve ever used. Beautiful done.

  9. Diane Zwang July 11, 2014 at 17:52 #

    I liked the plate. Your zucchini blossoms looked gorgeous. I wish I could have found them.

  10. Alice July 11, 2014 at 18:49 #

    wow they look great! Those are my favorite types of markets though, you know – where you walk away with more produce than you know what to do with??? My kiddos love those days – they wind up eating raw veggies all night and we make all sorts of crazy things with the rest of it and add so many veggies to our meals – one of the best things about summer!

    the farmers I got my blossoms from said that they love just battering and frying the baby zuccs like you got, with the blossoms on the end, sans stuffing and that those can be outta this world amazing! I mean, if you need another reason to find more blossoms to devour! : )

    Have a lovely weekend Mardi!

  11. Betsy July 11, 2014 at 22:35 #

    Your fried blossoms look fabulous! Can’t wait to try this one, maybe sans crevettes. I love the pic of your market haul. Happy French Friday!

  12. Rose July 12, 2014 at 03:55 #

    What a gorgeous bounty from the market! I know exactly the feeling of my eyes getting bigger than my stomach on such trips and coming home with way more than can reasonably be consumed by two people. I find it particularly frustrating when we are on vacation and staying in a hotel. It doesn’t stop me from buying things, but it does present limits.

  13. Stephanie July 13, 2014 at 22:31 #

    Oh my, your shopping haul is making me so, so envious!! It looks amazing as do the blossoms. I’ve never made fried zucchini blossoms before so I’d probably go sans shrimp for the first time just to see what it’s like plain. Will stick with this batter though!

  14. Tami July 13, 2014 at 22:57 #

    I just knew I planted zucchinis for a reason on the weekend :-) These look absolutely divine Mardi – hopefully the weather and insects don’t conquer my plants and I will get the opportunity to make something that looks half as good.

    Rest assured zucchini blossoms would be an unknown commodity in Mount Isa and I’m not quite sure they’d survive mail order!!!!

    **sigh** your market haul pic makes me realise how much I really do detest the supermarket produce we have available.

  15. Mary Hirsch July 14, 2014 at 21:09 #

    Everything about this Post makes me envious as heck……. In an instance you have hopped over the Pond to an entirely different sort of Life. Well deserved, I might add. Enjoy it (I do think I don’t need to add that sentence.) Your tempura shrimp-filled blossoms look beautiful. Thanks for the tips. I still have to locate the blossoms but will be making this when I do.

  16. Teresa July 19, 2014 at 22:48 #

    What a beautiful haul you got from the market! And such luck that you were able to find the blossoms. The female blossoms were a good choice for this dish – the male ones I used would have been a bit small for shrimp. I went with herbed goat cheese instead of shrimp, however. I didn’t even make the tapanade mixture Dorie suggests and it was still delicious. I agree, the tempura batter was wonderful (and worked really well with gluten-free flour).

  17. Candy (Dulce) July 26, 2014 at 13:49 #

    What a delight! From the espadrilles to the blossoms! I’m sure I’ve said it before, but what an adventure!!

    I never did find the blossoms, but I still hold out hope. Perhaps I haven’t been willing to go to extremes. But well done Mr. Neil for that spotting! And well done on those shrimp-filled blossoms.

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