Having moved to Italy for several years, the first adjustment we have made is to food. Eating is such a prominent part of life here, and we have already adjusted to a breakfast of strong Italian coffee and not-very-sweet cake, big, hot lunches at 1:30pm, followed by a small dinner at 8pm. Eating rules of the land include: no snacking; no eating while walking, driving, or moving about in public; eating local recipes in the sacrosanct way they make them in that region; no cappuccinos–only espresso shots–after noon.
When I go out to dinner and order something spectacular, I can’t resist the urge to try and make it at home. The first and most inspiring case of this so far is zucchini flowers stuffed with fresh ricotta cheese, rolled in prosciutto, and then pan fried. They are a bit like jalepeno poppers, so I affectionately refer to them as Zucchini Flower Poppers. I hope you will try this yourself, as the combination of the ingredients is just incredible. Go to a farmers’ market and see if they have zucchini with the flowers for sale. If not, you could substitute the flowers zucchini flowers with another thin, subtle leaf, such as butter or Boston lettuce. Zucchini flowers are served liberally here, over ravioli in a cream sauce or deep fried–always delicioso. This is perfect for a date night at home served as an appetizer.
8 Zucchini flowers or leaves of light lettuce
Fresh ricotta cheese (either made from cow milk or, my preference, goat milk)
8 pieces of fresh prosciutto
Wash and dry zucchini flowers.
Stuff with ricotta (I use the thinnest handle of a spoon I can find).
Wrap with a piece of prosciutto.
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat.
Place the poppers on the skillet.
Let cook for 4 minutes, and then turn them over for another 4 minutes.
Serve 4 on each plate.