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Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

stuffed zucchini flowers

For years I have wondered whether zucchini flowers were the new mushroom, as in the famous 70s feminist adage ‘Life is too short to stuff a mushroom’.  Now I know. The flowers themselves have very little taste; in fact there’s very little of anything to them. But there’s a textural phenomenon – a little bite of creamy herby filling barely warmed, inside a crispy tempura case. The zucchini flower is so barely there all it really does is separate them. But that’s enough.

You need organic flowers.  It would be all too hard, for me anyhow, if I had to wash and then try to dry them.  They are a bit fiddly – it took me about half an hour to make a couple of dozen of them –  but if you have lots of male zucchini (or tromboncino, or pumpkin, or squash) flowers in the garden, they’re a delicacy worth the fiddling.  I left a few males for the bees to do their thing, but there’s lots of bees, and pretty soon there’s going to be more zucchini than we know what to do with anyhow.

The Recipe:

This recipe is enough for around 24 small, male zucchini flowers – a good amount for four people with salad for lunch.  Three parts: the batter, the filling, and the cooking. You can make the batter and the filling in advance, but the cooking needs to be done right before eating.

The Batter:

Separate two eggs. (We use the yolks in the filling). Beat the egg whites with an egg beater until they form soft peaks.

Sift two-thirds of a cup of plain flour with a pinch of salt.  If you use wholemeal flour, discard the coarser bran you sift out.

Mix the sifted flour with two-thirds of a cup of milk to make a batter that’s just a little bit runny.

Let it sit while you make the filling, then, just before you are ready to cook, fold the batter into the beaten egg whites.

The Filling:

I use the food processor to blend together

  • the two egg yolks
  • 80 grams of low fat feta cheese
  • 4 dessertspoons of low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 spring onion
  • a cup (packed) of  herbs – I used lemon basil, mint and dill.

Assembling and Cooking

Strip any green sepels from the bottom of 24 zucchini, squash, pumpkin, or tromboncino flowers (or a mixture).  Don’t wash them – you want them dry.

Put a teaspoon of filling inside each one and twist the tops to seal them.  Don’t worry if they tear a little – just try to get all the filling covered with flower.  Fill them all before you start cooking because the next bit involves batter-y fingers.

Heat a heavy frypan with olive oil.  Dip each flower in the batter to cover it, then shallow fry in the hot oil, turning, till golden all over.  The oil should be hot enough that they fry quite quickly so don’t crowd the pan too much.  Drain on absorbent paper till they are all done.  Sprinkle with salt and serve.

They make a great light lunch with salad or finger food with drinks.


{ 8 comments… add one }
  • dixiebelle December 6, 2011, 2:11 pm

    I keep meaning to try these this season! All those flowers there on the zuchini & squash… just looking at me, saying don’t waste us!

  • Samala December 6, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Oh yum! Thanks for sharing – they were one of my favourite culinary delights whilst traveling in Mexico many years ago. Mmmm

  • Jode December 6, 2011, 5:00 pm

    Oh these do look yummy….i keep looking at the flowers too…time to give them a try perhaps! Thanks for sharing!

  • Linda December 6, 2011, 9:08 pm

    I have never heard the 70s adage about life and mushrooms! Fascinating!

  • celia December 7, 2011, 7:30 am

    They look delicious!! Are you just using male flowers because the females are the one that will form the fruit? (Sorry to be asking such a daft question, but we’ve not yet managed to get our zucchinis to flower – not sure why we have such a poor run with them in our backyard).

  • Linda December 7, 2011, 9:08 am

    Yes, though pretty soon we’ll have so many zucchini I’ll probably be using the female flowers too. I wonder why zucchini aren’t happy at your place too?

  • cath December 7, 2011, 4:13 pm

    Oh…I’m surprised! i think zucchini blossom have a lovely flavour. my batter is generally a lighter cornflour version, which may not have as mych flavour as your. Thanks for a new stuffing recipe tho…it will be nice to change the menu occasionally!

  • Linda December 7, 2011, 4:56 pm

    Love to hear your stuffing recipe Cath.

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