Oh the pleasures of the summer table. Although we suffered a recent hailstorm with minor casualties in the garden, the male zucchini flowers continue to flourish and bloom without a care in the world (as guys usually do). They pop up like weeds, and I’ve been serving them stuffed with ricotta and diced prosciutto or anchovies almost every day. Traditionally these are dipped in beaten eggs, rolled in breadcrumbs, then fried. I also use blossoms from my kabocha pumpkin plants, frugal girl that I am, but wait a sec, because this post is not so much about stuffed flowers as it is about seiráss. Pronounced seh-RAHSS, it includes the whey of both cow and sheep’s milk. A product from the Piemonte region, the name is derived from the word siero (whey). I have never eaten plain ricotta that is so smooth and buttery in taste. This one in particular comes wrapped in a gauze cone and sealed in its own container.
This ricotta will probably never be seen stateside but that doesn’t mean you can’t use any other brand. Just remember to drain and squeeze the excess liquid. Add diced prosciutto (or cooked ham), chopped anchovies (main bone removed and rinsed free of salt), minced herbs and salt and pepper. Sometimes I also add an egg yolk for extra richness. After stuffing with ricotta mixture, drizzle with olive oil, top with breadcrumbs and place under the broiler at medium heat for around 10 minutes. For anyone who is not too fond of fried foods, this makes a less oily alternative to the traditional version.