Tempura patty-pan squash blossoms & wet garlic with pickled red cherries and herb vinaigrette
Extremely excited this time of year when there is some early summer season produce to play around with.
Patty-pan squash blossoms from the green house to start off with, then an earlier in the week, dawn raid on my mother -in- laws, sun trapped back garden, herb plants. An abundance of lovage, savory, rosemary, thyme parsley, lemon balm, mint & sage awaited as I swiftly whipped out the scissors to take a snippet of each. ✂😎
With Father’s Day in this part of the world Sunday past, I was treated with a tasty roast lamb dish which had the beneficial use of the rosemary and savory to enhance its flavour.
And then, a visit to the local organic farm where I picked up some wet garlic, which is available for a short period, this time of year. Milder in flavour, it can be eaten raw including the greener part of the stalk, ideal for salads, or used in similar ways as you would chives, spring onions & leeks.
Finely some sweet deep purple cherries 🍒which I pickled to bring a little sweet and sour element to the salad.
Tempura Patty Pan squash blossoms, wet garlic, with pickled cherries & herb vinaigrette
With summer in full swing and a few early ingredients popping up around the garden, and with some great additions from the local farms, thought this salad would be perfect with a glass of your favourite tipple
- Selection of your favourite leaves, I used baby spinach & red leaf.
- Handful of pickled cherries, see recipe below.
- One head of wet garlic cut into wedges are slices.
- Some squash blossoms, I was lucky enough to have these in my garden. You might pick some up in good veggie suppliers.
- A few yellow Cherry tomatoes.
- 1 x Tablespoon of honey
- 75g Plain flour.
- 95g Cornflour.
- ¼ Teaspoon salt.
- ¼ Teaspoon smoked paprika.
- 1 x Egg yolk. Leave out if you prefer it to be completely plants.
- 170ml Chilled sparkling water.
- Sieve the flours into a bowl and add in the salt & smoked paprika and stir through.
- Pour in the water & yolk, blend to a ‘double cream’ consistency, being careful not to over work the batter, do not worry if there are still little pockets of flour. This is best completed, just before you want to start using it for frying.
- Assemble your leaves on a plate and garnish with the tomatoes.
- Heat 500ml approx. of sunflower or vegetable oil in a saucepan until 180c/350f
- Check the oil is at the right temperature by dropping in some batter, it should start to crisp up quickly.
- In batches fry of the wet garlic first, which will take around 2-4 minutes depending on their size, turn them around so that they are evenly cooked, crisp, and pale golden.
- Drain with a slotted spoon and place on some absorbent kitchen towel and continue finishing with the garlic & squash blossoms.
- To assemble, place the tempura blossoms and garlic on top of the salad leaves and dress with some of the stoned pickled cherries, and spoonsful of the herb vinaigrette, and drizzle of honey. Enjoy.
Pickled red cherries
- 200g Fresh red cherries, washed and stem removed. Leave stone in at this stage.
- 100ml Cider vinegar
- 50ml White wine vinegar
- 50ml Water
- 100g Caster sugar
- 1 x Bay-leaf
- 2 x All spice berries
- ¼ x Teaspoon coriander seeds
- Place the cherries inside a medium sized, approx. ½ litre sterilized Kilner jar.
- Place all the other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer until the sugar has dissolved, continue simmering for a further 5 minutes. Cool slightly, then pour over the cherries, close the lid, and leave for 1-2 weeks before using.
- When ready to serve with the salad, split in half and remove the stone.
- 150ml olive oil
- 25ml White wine vinegar
- 2 x Teaspoons of honey
- 1 x small, sweet pepper finely diced.
- 1 x medium shallot finely diced.
- 1 x Clove of garlic finely chopped.
- 4 x lovage leaves finely chopped.
- 4 x Mint leaves finely chopped.
- Small bunch carrot tops finely chopped.
- ¼ Teaspoon harissa paste
- Zest of one lemon
- Blend all the ingredients together and place in a jar, ideally leave for a day before using.