Tuesday 25 April 2017

Baked stuffed zucchini flowers

10 minutes to prepare Serves 4

The Garden of Live Flowers


There's so much to be happy about when spring gives us its gems: cherries, strawberries, asparagus! 
With each week that passes, I see subtle changes in what's available at the farmers market, and the new offerings are never boring.

One of my favorite things to see is golden, orange-yellow zucchini flowers, piled high and glowing. You might think these edible flowers are really more fancy restaurant ingredients, but they are actually quite easy and versatile to prepare, so there's no reason you shouldn't pick some up to try for yourself!
Squash blossoms are soft, delicate, and taste mildly like the squash itself. They are available late spring to early fall. They can usually be found at farmers markets or upscale grocery stores. Due to their delicate nature, they should be cooked or eaten as soon as possible, or you can store them in the refrigerator for a day or so.

I have already presented here many recipes featuring zucchini flowers, as I love using them in both egg dishes, and pasta sauces.
Today I have stuffed the flowers with a delicious pesto of various cheeses, and I have baked them. As much as I adore fried zucchini flowers, indeed, I am trying to avoid fried foods as much as I can, so I have found baking them to be a great alternative.
I stuff my blossoms with a blend of ricotta, crescenza and Parmesan cheese and chopped zucchini, then bread them and bake them. The exterior of the flower becomes golden brown and crispy while the filling is creamy smooth...nom nom nom!

Here are ingredients for the 4-serving recipe:


200 g zucchini
1 egg
12 zucchini flowers
100 g ricotta cheese
100 g crescenza cheese
25 g grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon pesto (check the recipe here)
3 tablespoons breadcrumb
10 g butter
1 clove garlic
EVO oil
salt and pepper

  1. Wash and peel zucchini, then finely chop them in a blender
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons of EVO oil into a pan and add the garlic clove. Once it has become golden, add zucchini into the pan and cook for a few minutes until the water seeping out them evaporates
  3. Remove the garlic, and let zucchini cool down
  4. Meanwhile, place all the cheese in a bowl - crescenza, ricotta, Parmesan - and mix them with a fork. Add the egg and the pesto and mix again 
  5. Add zucchini and 2 tablespoons of breadcrumb, too. Mix well again, then season with salt and pepper according to your taste
  6. Prepare the zucchini flowers: gently open the petals and remove any pistil or stamen by using your fingers to snap them off. Then, carefully wash and dry the blossoms
  7. To stuff the zucchini flowers, take a piece of parchment paper and make a paper cone for icing (you can follow this easy step-to-step wikihow tutorial). Fill them with the zucchini pesto and place them in a baking tray greased with butter
  8. Add grated Pecorino and 1 tablespoon of breadcrumb on top. Bake it at 200° for 15 minutes, then grill it for the last 5 minutes, so that your blossoms become gracefully crispy. Serve immediately!

Nutrition Facts are listed for this recipe in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

This time she came upon a large flower-bed, with a border of daisies, and a willow-tree growing in the middle.

`O Tiger-lily,’ said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, `I wish you could talk!’
`We can talk,’ said the Tiger-lily: `when there’s anybody worth talking to.”
Alice was so astonished that she could not speak for a minute: it quite seemed to take her breath away. At length, as the Tiger-lily only went on waving about, she spoke again, in a timid voice — almost in a whisper. `And can all the flowers talk?’
`As well as all can,’ said the Tiger-lily. `And a great deal louder.’
`It isn’t manners for us to begin, you know,’ said the Rose, `and I really was wondering when you’d speak! Said I to myself, “Her face has got some sense in it, thought it’s not a clever one!” Still, you’re the right colour, and that goes a long way.’
`I don’t care about the colour,’ the Tiger-lily remarked. `If only her petals curled up a little more, she’d be all right.’
(Lewis carroll, Through the Looking Glass)

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