Zucchini blossoms 12 ea.

Feta cheese, cut into 12 pieces 2 oz.

Fresh mint leaves, plus 1-2 sprigs 12 ea.

for garnish

All-purpose flour 1 cup

Water, warm 2/3 cup

Egg, large 1 ea.

Ouzo 3 Tbsp.

Extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp.

Aleppo pepper, or a pinch crushed 1 tsp.

red pepper flakes

Salt 1 tsp.

Olive oil and safflower oil, for frying

1. One at a time, carefully open each zucchini blossom and insert 1 piece of cheese and 1 mint leaf. Place on a plate, cover, and  refrigerate for up to 4 hours (the blossoms can be stuffed ahead of time).

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, water, egg, ouzo, oil, pepper or pepper flakes, and salt.

3. In a large, deep skillet, heat about 1½ inches of a combination of olive oil and safflower oil over medium-high heat to 350°F.

4. In batches, carefully dip each stuffed blossom into the batter, turning to coat on all sides, and fry, turning, until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve at once, garnished with the mint sprigs.

Note: The blossoms have a tendency to close up. To keep them  open, place them upside down on the work surface as you proceed.