Try Out This Light And Bright Dish Full Of Flavor
This delicious appetizer is perfect for late summer fare. Inspired by a sampling of a similar dish at an Italian restaurant in Las Vegas, Chef Brittany Driskell was determined to create something a bit different, she put her own spin on the filling.
“It’s just indulgent, I guess is the best way to put it; but it’s not so heavy that you just can’t eat more than one,” said Driskell. “It’s something light, it’s something bright, and it’s something full of flavor. And then you’re looking forward to the next dish.
The parsley aioli that we make for the dish is made with The Villages Grown parsley microgreens. We bring that in because of the difference in flavor, along with the heirloom tomatoes, another favorite, the squash blossoms and microgreens.
“I came up with this dish and I found squash blossoms through our other produce purveyor, but we had to buy them two or three weeks out, and then when we got it, it wasn’t the best product. It was good, but we had to use it quickly. I approached Rebecca Reis-Miller about it, and she got on it. Within a couple of months, we had beautiful squash blossoms coming from The Villages Grown.”
(per single serving)
3 pre-filled squash blossoms 1⁄4 cup of tempura batter batch
(Chef’s suggestion: McCormick “Golden Dipt Tempura”) 3 to 4 roasted heirloom tomatoes
1 tbsp parsley aioli
2 quarts of canola or sunflower oil
SQUASH BLOSSOM FILLING
(yield 1 Cup)
4 oz. goat cheese
1⁄2 lb cream cheese
1⁄4 cup ricotta cheese
1⁄4 cup fresh chives
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
pinch of crushed red pepper pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
PARSLEY AIOLI BATCH INGREDIENTS
(yield 1 Cup)
1 cup mayonnaise (double egg if available)
1 cup of de-stemmed parsley
1 pinch of garlic, salt, pepper, coriander combo*
juice of 1/4 lemon
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Be careful not to over blend or the puree will separate.
*GARLIC, SALT, PEPPER, CORIANDER COMBO
(yield 1 Cup)
1⁄2 cup salt
1⁄4 cup granulated garlic
1⁄4 cup coriander
2 tbsp coarse black pepper
Blend all ingredients well in a mix and store in a piping bag. Pipe cheese filling into squash blossom — do not fill more than half full. In a fryer or cast-iron skillet, heat oil to 350°. When the oil is hot, dredge the prefilled squash blossoms in the tempura batter and slowly emerge into oil with tongs. Once the batter is golden brown, flip in the oil and fry until golden brown on the other side. Remove from oil and lay on paper towels to absorb excess grease. Serve atop Parsley Aioli along with roasted tomatoes, with a garnish of microgreens.
Chef Brittany Driskell is Director of Culinary for FMK Restaurant Group. The Tifton, GA native is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts — Orlando and is the culinary specialist behind the FMK restaurant menus, creating Harvest restaurant’s menu from scratch. Driskell loves to use her culinary skills and passion to push people to experience new things and new flavors, and to put a smile on customers’ faces as they dine.
This article is featured in the September 2022 issue of The Growing Bolder Digital Digest.