Steamed zucchini flowers

December 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm (Recipes)

I was so excited to receive some freshly picked, home-grown zucchini flowers today.   These flowers are at their best early in summer and grow in two forms, both of which are edible.  The male flower grows on the stem of the zucchini plant whereas the female flower grows on the end of each zucchini.  Before cooking, it’s best to remove the stamens and pistils from the male and female flowers respectively.

When I order zucchini flowers at restaurants, they are usually stuffed with a cheese mixture, battered and fried but these were so fresh that I decided to steam them instead to retain the flavour of the blossoms.

Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter)

  • 16 zucchini flowers
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 tbs raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs pine nuts
  • salt and pepper to taste

1)  Toast the pine nuts in a small fry pan over medium heat until fragrant.  Then remove from the heat and set aside.

2)  Remove the stamens and stem or pistils from the zucchini flowers (a gently twist should do the trick) and gently wash to remove any dust or grit from the petals.

3)  In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, chopped raisins and pine n

uts.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe a small amount of filling into each blossom, leaving some room so that you can twist the ends of the petals to seal the filling inside.  Alternatively, you can just use a teaspoon to carefully fill the flowers.

4)  Steam the flowers for 5 mins until the ricotta has set.  Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a couple of turns of black pepper.

 

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