Spring – Fresh Curd Cheese & Zucchini Blossoms

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With the constant search and desire for new, there is something comforting and reassuring with the return of each season’s offerings. A chance to return to last year’s recipes and learn and improve upon them.
Spring in particular is loaded with joy and vitality because it is the season that embodies rebirthing more than any other. Think spring milk, spring lamb, spring chicken…all denote goodness, sweetness and youthfulness.
The same can be said for Spring cheese and vegetables.

Fresh curd cheese
I always have a tub of soft curd cheese in my fridge as a quick and easy addition to uplift salads, omelettes and sandwiches or to have with fresh vegetables as a snack. They should be fresh and clean on the palate with a smooth texture and a good balance of sweet, slightly salty and acidic.
However, it is during spring that the cheese develops an extra lovely greener sweetness from the fresh pastures. It’s their sweet and slightly acidic qualities that make it perfect for both savoury and dessert dishes. I will often add a spoonful of fresh goat’s curd cheese to finish a vegetable pasta sauce and it is sumptuous as a filling for ravioli if you have the inclination.
When it comes to dessert fresh goat’s curd makes the most wonderful cheesecake.

Zucchini Blossoms
Zucchini blossoms are delicious simply dipped in a batter and deep fried, sliced thinly and added to an omelette and they are natures perfect parcel for stuffing although their fragility requires some care.
Although edible I prefer to remove the pistils from the female blossoms and the stamen from the male blossoms before cooking. To do this I use my fish tweezers which cause less damage to the blossom.
The female blossoms are attached to the small zucchini fruit which I keep attached to the blossom but which when quite fat I cut from the base into strands so that they will cook more evenly. The male blossoms are attached to a long thin stem only, so are a little less work.
Due to their fragility I tend to make a soft stuffing which can be easily piped into the blossom. Ricotta, soft goat’s curd with salt, pepper, lemon zest and fresh herbs is simple and delicious.
It’s a post market treat to eat Carmel and John’s blossoms from Zavaglia Fresh produce stuffed and pan fried on toast.

Image Credit; Maja Baska

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