OK. The first thing to discuss is how to spell zucchini. Or is it zuccini? Or zuchini? Or courgette?
No matter. When I was in Chianti (travel bore, I know) I literally gasped with delight when I saw this huge tray of zucchini flowers in the local supermarket for less than 2€. I rushed to the deli to buy some fresh ricotta and immediately altered our pre-dinner plans to include stuffed zucchini flowers.
Having bought the requisite blossoms and filling, I then had to drag up all recollections and half memories of how to cook the dish as I had no recipes or Internet to call upon. I remembered some key words of wisdom from various recipes (‘Don’t over stuff!’, ‘Oil must be hot!’) and thought I recalled that the flowers were lightly crumbed. So, throwing caution to the wind, this was my cobbled together recipe:
- Fresh ricotta (1 cup), zest of 1 lemon, grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup), salt & pepper, fresh parsley & mint (1tsp each) finely chopped
Stuff the Flowers
- Spoon into flowers (Do not overfill!) and twist or gently fold over ends of flower. To be frank, you can only do the best you can to try to minimise the opening
Crumb the Flowers
- Dredge in flour, dip in a beaten egg and seasoned fresh breadcrumbs. I had no breadcrumbs so I used semolina grains. Polenta would also work well for an extra crunchy coating but neither browns as well as bread crumbs.
Fry the Stuffed Flowers
- Heat vegetable oil to a medium high heat – until a few breadcrumbs sizzle in it. I shallow fried, turning regularly but you could also deep fry – just make sure the heat is not too fierce so the little bundles don’t fall apart in all that bubbling oil
Serve whilst hot. Make sure that when you bite into one, you let the steam escape outside your mouth! These are quite filling so one or two is fine with pre-dinner drinks or 3 for an entrée. So, any way you spell it, Stuffed Zucchini Flowers are worth the effort and taste delicious!
(By the way – whilst researching zucchinis, I found this website: Unusual name for a Wedding Planner. I’m going to Paphos early next year so I’ll keep a look out for little green vegetables in tuxedos and veils)