Richard Betts became an expert at frying squash and sage leaves when he lived in Tuscany 20 years ago, using a batter with just two ingredients: flour and club soda.
Slideshows: More Squash Recipes
Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups seltzer or club soda, chilled
1 1/2 pounds kabocha squash or sugar pumpkin—peeled, seeded and cut into
1/2 cup sage leaves
Flaky sea salt and lemon wedges, for garnish
How to Make It
In a saucepan, heat 1 inch of oil to 360°. In a bowl, whisk the flour and 1 1/4 cups of the seltzer until smooth and the consistency of sour cream; add more seltzer if the batter is too thick. Season with salt.
Working in 3 or 4 batches, dip the squash and some of the sage in the batter; let excess batter drip off. Carefully add the battered squash and sage, and some uncoated sage leaves, to the hot oil. Fry over moderately high heat, turning, until lightly golden and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the fried squash and sage to paper towels to drain. Season with sea salt and serve right away with lemon wedges.
Lively rosés are terrific with fried appetizers like these.
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