Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Zucchini blossoms are the bright yellow/orange flowers on the end of baby zucchini (also the blossoms on the stalks of males plants).  I wouldn't say they are your typical menu item, but if you've never enjoyed these delicate flowers, you are missing out!

Before I actually ventured to try zucchini blossoms, I must admit that I wrote them off as one of those 'cool ingredients' that are more attractive and exotic than they are appetizing.  While I do enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and combinations, I am of the opinion that not everything edible is meant for consumption and not all ingredients pair well.  I am sure my fiance will enjoy this... I WAS WRONG!  Yes, zucchini blossoms are attractive but they are also delicious. 

Since losing my zucchini blossom virginity, I've ordered them prepared in a variety of ways, but I definitely prefer them fried.  For a reason unbeknownst to myself, I was very intimated to have a go at these in my own kitchen.  They were staring me down at the market the other day and I knew I had to conquer my fear. 

As the blossoms themselves are very delicate, I wanted to keep the dish light.  I decided to go with a light and fluffy ricotta stuffing and used a batter of soda water and flour to give them an almost tempura-like crunch. 

I toyed with the idea of throwing some finely chopped sundried tomatoes into the stuffing but decided that I wanted to keep it very light and fresh.  They came out just as I had wanted, but I certainly could have added the sundried tomatoes if I were looking for a bit more depth of flavor. 

It was a beautiful dish, the creamy and fresh herbed ricotta stuffing was the perfect complement to the sweet flower and light, golden crisp
Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

12 zucchini blossoms
1 cup ricotta
1 egg
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano
3 tablespoons herbs, finely chopped (whatever you prefe, I used basil, parsley, and thyme)
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sparkling water
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
oil, for frying (I used canola)


1. If you have any female flowers with the baby zucchini attached, slice the zucchinis into strips ensuring almost up to the flower so that the remain attached.  For all flowers, very gently open the petals and clip and discard the pistil.
2. For the filling, combine the cheeses, egg, herbs, and 3/4 tsp salt.  Spoon 1-2 tsp into each flower depending on size, but do not overfill.  Close the blossoms over the mixture and twist petals to seal.
3. For the batter, whisk together the flour, water and salt and pepper until smooth.
4. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until you have reached 350 degrees F.  If you sprinkle a little flour in the oil and it sizzles, it's ready.
5. Dip the blossoms in the batter and all excess to drip off.  Fry for about 2 minutes, turning occasionally until they are golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Add more salt if desired.

I whipped up a quick pesto using my mortar and pestle.  I bashed together some chopped basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, paremesan cheese, salt, and EVOO - your pretty typical recipe.  You can serve with marinara, vinaigrette, whatever you prefer!


  1. Great recipe, I love stuffed zucchini flowers!

  2. I like your choice of the tempura-like batter. The sundried tomatoes would be glorious in this. Love sundried tomato. Look forward to talking more food with you.



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