May 31, 2011
Say Cheese: Recipes for Shavuot
(Page 2 - Previous Page)
COLD TOMATO SOUP WITH MOZZARELLA
6 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and pureed (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
6 ounces soft mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups diced cucumbers, peeled (2 small cucumbers)
2 cups fresh corn kernels
Extra-virgin olive oil for garnish
Strain the pureed tomatoes into a glass bowl. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the basil and mix thoroughly.
Spoon an equal amount of mozzarella, cucumbers and corn kernels into the center of 6 shallow bowls and ladle some tomato mixture over each. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
STUFFED SQUASH BLOSSOMS
20 to 24 squash blossoms with tiny zucchini attached
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks or whole eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound gorgonzola cheese, cut in small cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Simple Zucchini Sauce (recipe follows)
Carefully open blossoms wide; remove the pistils — the fuzzy yellow floret — from inside the zucchini blossom and discard. Set blossoms aside.
In a large bowl, beat the ricotta, Parmesan, eggs and salt until smooth. Taste for seasoning; the mixture should be highly seasoned. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To fill the blossoms, spoon the filling into a large pastry bag (a small spoon will also work). Fill the clean blossoms about three-quarters full. Push a piece of gorgonzola into the center of the filling and gently squeeze the petals together over the top of the filling.
Brush two 8-by-10-inch baking dishes with olive oil and arrange the stuffed zucchini flowers in the dishes. Sprinkle the blossoms with additional salt, pepper and remaining olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated 375 F oven until the cheese is puffy and the juices that run from the blossoms begin to bubble.
To serve, ladle Simple Zucchini Sauce into each serving plate and arrange two stuffed blossoms on top.
Makes 10 servings.
SIMPLE ZUCCHINI SAUCE
2 zucchini (16 ounces), cut in 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium-size saucepan, place zucchini with water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft. Reserve 3 to 4 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Cool. Place zucchini in food processor with reserved liquid, olive oil, salt and pepper, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, heat the sauce and serve with the squash blossoms.
Judy Zeidler is the author of “The Gourmet Jewish Cook” (Morrow, 1988) and “The International Deli Cookbook” (Chronicle, 1994). She teaches cooking classes through American Jewish University’s Whizin Center for Continuing Education. Her new cookbook, “Italy Cooks,” is based on 35 years of travel to Italy. Her Web site is judyzeidler.com.
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