Alright everyone wants to know what I am going to do with the zucchini blossoms, its just so simple, I feel like I am letting you down. It’s been since last October since we have had any, so of course the first time I use them is going to be my standard presentation….I have played with it, changed the egg dip, but I always come back to these little bites of heaven. When we were in Rome, we had stumbled upon this little restaurant near the mouth of truth. We went in and saw a couple next to us getting all this wonderful food brought out to them. That’s when I first saw zucchini blossoms.
I asked our server if we could have the same assortment the other couple was having since I couldn’t find it on the menu. She told me they were friends of the chef and he has sent out the food to them……sigh….I said I understood, and thanked her for telling me. I don’t know if its the sad puppy dog eyes that got her, but she came back out and told me the chef would be happy to make it for us! (it must be a gift, and it only works with women, but I have gotten tables when none were available, free desserts and drinks….sigh). Anyway I forget my wife reads this too..lol….so as the course’s came out, so did the zucchini blossoms.
Romans do make them a bit differently, a piece of anchovy, a little bit of mozzarella, and quick fried till golden…..a work of art! But while we loved them in Rome, at home we remembered we didn’t like anchovies all that well. So I started tinkering with them and decided upon just a cheese filling, and that seemed to do the trick…dipped in an egg batter and quickly fried in Olive oil, patted dry and served at room temp. Little bites of heaven!
Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
12-15 Zucchini Blossoms
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 oz grated Romano Cheese
1 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Pinch of Black Pepper
Pinch of Granulated Garlic
mix all the ingredients together and place in small pastry bag, or a ziplock bag with an end snipped off.
open one end of the blossom gently and squeeze a small amount of cheese into the blossom. Due not overfill, you want enough to almost fill the blossom not to make it bulge. Gently twist the blossom closed. (you may also make a small slit in the side of the blossom and fill it from there). Refrigerate the blossoms for about 10-15 minutes while you get the egg mixture together.
2 whole eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup grated Romano
1 Tablespoon chopped Basil or Italian Parsley
Lightly beat the eggs and add in milk, flour, cheese, and basil. Mix well. Egg Mixture should be about pancake mix thickness. If the mix is too thick the egg coating will be to thick and if its too thin it will run off.
Heat a large sauté pan and then add about 1/4 inch of olive oil to the pan.
Lightly dredge stuffed blossom in plain flour, shake off excess. Dredge floured Zucchini Blossom in egg mixture, shed any excess egg and place into hot oil, continue the process till you fill the pan. Fry each side of the Blossom until golden brown, about two minutes on each side, the second side may cook faster, keep an eye on them. Place finished blossom on paper towels to drain off any excess oil. When all the blossoms are finished place a paper towel on top of the Flowers and pat dry. Serve the Blossoms at room temperature. My Blossoms didn’t hold up as well as usual, so I only stuffed them, I promise more recipes in the weeks to come.
I saw the recipe for Courgette Gratin in last months BBC Good Food, it looked like a wonderful casserole, so I made a few adjustment to the recipe and I have to say it was delicious! The squash stayed firm and the rice was so very flavorful, with the tomatoes adding a nice contrast the dish! I was lucky enough to find Sunburst Squash at the Market, a bright deep yellow with a green spot at the end.
2 small Sunburst or Yellow Squash sliced about 1/8 inch thick
1 small onion diced
1 Cup Mixed Rice and Grain Blend, or Rice of your choice
1 Cup of Grape Tomatoes cut in half length ways.
1 quart of Vegetable Stock
1 cup of shredded Cheddar
1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
3-4 Tablespoons Pesto
Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste
Place diced onions and Rice Blend in a 2 quart pot with enough olive oil to coat the rice. Allow the grains to sauté for about 3-4 minutes, you want to completely sear the grains, you may start to smell a nutty aroma.
Add vegetable stock, and Pesto to Rice and mix thoroughly. Reduce the heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Depending upon the grains you use you may need to add more stock or water until the rice is almost fully cooked. Rice mixture should still be wet.
While Rice is cooking slice your squash and place in a mixing bowl with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the squash slices. ( do not use too much oil, you do not want your dish greasy)
With the rice off the heat, add in your Greek Yogurt, and tomatoes. Pour mixture into a small baking dish, rice should come almost to the top of your baking dish. Top the rice mixture with most of your shredded cheddar cheese (save about 1/4 cup for the top), then place the squash slices overlapping each slice as you go. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top of squash and season finished dish with sea salt and black pepper. Place in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Sprinkle with chopped Basil or Italian Parsley.
I had some of my zucchini flower stuffing left over and a Graffiti Eggplant in the Refrigerator, so thought, why not……hmmm, stuffed Eggplant Rollantine’s.
Slice your eggplant into long slices, about 1/8 inch thick. leave the peel on the edges just trim off the top and bottom skin. You can either grill your eggplant slices or gently sauté them in olive, about 2 minutes per side. If you choose to grill them lightly coat them in olive oil.
Place the slices on paper towels and pat dry. Take your ricotta cheese mixture from the zucchini blossoms, and spread 1 tablespoon of the mixture on each eggplant slice. Roll the slice up and repeat with the rest of the eggplant. Place rolls in a baking dish and place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Top with your own Marinara sauce and serve.
Now its not Vegan, but it is Vegetarian…….I can give up meat, but not cheese……ooooohhhhh the Wonder of Cheese. But on another note, today at Wegman’s I purchased Organic Raw Agave, Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Shortening, and Silken Tofu……now I just have to figure out what to do with it……sigh…..baby steps.