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Fresh Gnocchi and Baby Zucchini

with Crispy Squash Blossoms & Lemon Brown Butter

Fresh Gnocchi and Baby Zucchini with Crispy Squash Blossoms & Lemon Brown Butter

Makes: 2 Servings

Calories: About 500 Per Serving

In green spring, the vegetable vines climb and ripen, trumpeting their blossoms. It’s high time to pluck those blossoms and fry them. For this dish, you’ll use baby zucchini as well as the gorgeous, deep orange flowers of the zucchini plant. They’re only available during a short harvesting window, so let’s enjoy the flavor of flower power while we can!

Fresh Gnocchi and Baby Zucchini with Crispy Squash Blossoms & Lemon Brown Butter ingredients
On the Cutting Board
  • 4 Squash Blossoms
  • 1 Lemon
  • ½ Pound Baby Zucchini
  • ¼ Cup Rice Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Cup Grated Pecorino Cheese
  • 10 Ounces Fresh Gnocchi
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Remove the stems and stamens of the squash blossoms; roughly chop 2 of the flowers, leave the remaining 2 whole. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest. Quarter the lemon and remove the seeds. Trim off and discard the tops and bottoms of the zucchini; halve each once lengthwise and once crosswise to create quarters. In a medium bowl, combine the rice flour and ⅓ cup of water to create a batter.
Fry the squash blossoms:
2 Fry the squash blossoms:
In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until very hot. Once hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles immediately when added to the pan, coat the whole squash blossoms in the batter, allowing any excess to drip off. Carefully add the coated squash blossoms to the pan and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt. Set aside as you continue cooking. Carefully discard the oil. Wipe out the pan.
Make the brown butter sauce:
3 Make the brown butter sauce:
In the same pan used to fry the squash blossoms, melt the butter on medium. Continue cooking until the butter foams. Once the foam subsides, swirl the butter around the pan over the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it turns golden brown and smells nutty. (Be watchful, as the butter can burn easily.) Add the chopped squash blossoms and lemon zest and cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 10 seconds, or until thoroughly coated.
Add the zucchini:
4 Add the zucchini:
Add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the juice of 2 lemon wedges.
Cook the gnocchi:
5 Cook the gnocchi:
While the squash cooks, add the gnocchi to the pot of boiling water. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender and the gnocchi floats to the top of the pot. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, then using a slotted spoon or strainer, transfer the cooked gnocchi to the pan with the zucchini and brown butter.
Finish the gnocchi & plate your dish:
6 Finish the gnocchi & plate your dish:
Add all but a pinch of the Pecorino cheese and ¼ cup reserved pasta water and stir until well combined. (If desired, add up to an additional ¼ cup of reserved pasta water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. To plate your dish, divide the gnocchi between 2 dishes and top each with a fried squash blossom. Garnish with the remaining Pecorino cheese and lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Remove the stems and stamens of the squash blossoms; roughly chop 2 of the flowers, leave the remaining 2 whole. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest. Quarter the lemon and remove the seeds. Trim off and discard the tops and bottoms of the zucchini; halve each once lengthwise and once crosswise to create quarters. In a medium bowl, combine the rice flour and ⅓ cup of water to create a batter.
2 Fry the squash blossoms:
In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until very hot. Once hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles immediately when added to the pan, coat the whole squash blossoms in the batter, allowing any excess to drip off. Carefully add the coated squash blossoms to the pan and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt. Set aside as you continue cooking. Carefully discard the oil. Wipe out the pan.
Fry the squash blossoms:
Make the brown butter sauce:
3 Make the brown butter sauce:
In the same pan used to fry the squash blossoms, melt the butter on medium. Continue cooking until the butter foams. Once the foam subsides, swirl the butter around the pan over the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it turns golden brown and smells nutty. (Be watchful, as the butter can burn easily.) Add the chopped squash blossoms and lemon zest and cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 10 seconds, or until thoroughly coated.
4 Add the zucchini:
Add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the juice of 2 lemon wedges.
Add the zucchini:
Cook the gnocchi:
5 Cook the gnocchi:
While the squash cooks, add the gnocchi to the pot of boiling water. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender and the gnocchi floats to the top of the pot. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, then using a slotted spoon or strainer, transfer the cooked gnocchi to the pan with the zucchini and brown butter.
6 Finish the gnocchi & plate your dish:
Add all but a pinch of the Pecorino cheese and ¼ cup reserved pasta water and stir until well combined. (If desired, add up to an additional ¼ cup of reserved pasta water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. To plate your dish, divide the gnocchi between 2 dishes and top each with a fried squash blossom. Garnish with the remaining Pecorino cheese and lemon wedges. Enjoy!
Finish the gnocchi & plate your dish:

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