My second week here in Sicily has been much more about settling into a routine over exploring, and it’s a good thing.
I keep forgetting that I live here, and am getting behind on normal things like laundry and dishes. These things aren’t fun, but they give me more time to feel like I’m actually getting stuff done.
I started work on Monday, so Paul and I have been going to our local Pasticceria every morning for cappuccinos and a pastry. It is very cheap here. Pastries are only 1 Euro, and they’re huge! We’ve tried various croissants, donut-type things with vanilla and chocolate crème, and sooooo many sweet ricotta filled delicacies (both of the pictures below are filled with ricotta and chocolate).
We feel so lucky to be here, and are taking advantage of this special place across the street as much as we can. It’s a family owned business, and the girls there know our morning order will always be “due cappuccini, per favore“!
On the weekends is where we branch out of Palermo to other places in Sicily. This weekend we went to Cefalù (slightly to the right of Palermo on the map below) by train to see the beautiful beaches and to hike up the famous “La Rocca”, which features a castle built in the 6th Century.
Map photo cred: Propertyworld.com
Our other tradition is going to the Ballarò market on the weekends. I shared a few photos of it in my last post, which clearly show the amazing variety this market has to offer.
Meat, cheese, olives, wine, in season vegetables, clothes and CD’s (not sure if this is legal), sweets, and a lot of street food (what Palermo is famous for) is just some of what you can find at Ballarò. It’s amazing in the true sense of the word.
The star of our recent trip to the Ballaro market were definitely the Zucchini blossoms, which I bought a GIANT handful of for 1 Euro.
Honestly, these could be squash blossoms, but since there weren’t any signs out in front of the bucket and since I didn’t see any squash nearby, we’re just going to assume.
This recipe for stuffed zucchini blossoms is a Sicilian classic.
I kept it simple, really, stuffing the flowers with fresh ricotta, shaved parmesan, garlic and red pepper flakes and frying them up in small batches. We enjoyed these so much, and will definitely be making them again!
Happy Sunday everyone 🙂
- 2/3 cup fresh ricotta
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 15 zucchini blossoms
- 1 cup all purpose flour + extra for dusting
- 1 1/2 cups water
- vegetable oil, for frying
- sea salt, for sprinkling
- Place the ricotta, garlic, parmesan and red pepper flakes in a bowl and mix to combine. Clean the zucchini blossoms by pulling out the pistil (part with pollen) and rinsing with water.
- Gently spoon 1 teaspoon of the ricotta mixture into each zucchini flower and twist the petals to enclose (it's ok if they aren't perfect).
- Place 1 cup of flour and water in a bowl and mix until just combined (the mixture will be a bit lumpy and this is OK). Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Place a dusting of plain flour on a plate and set aside.
- Heat about half an inch of oil in a large, deep saucepan over high heat until hot. Dust the zucchini flowers in the extra flour and dip into the batter.
- Cook the flowers in batches of about 4-6, for a few minutes on each side. Flowers are done when they appear puffed and golden.
- Place cooked blossoms on a paper towel-lined plate and season with some sea salt.
- Enjoy hot.
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay Magazine