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Friday, February 8, 2013

Ricotta and basil zucchini flowers

Is life too short to stuff zucchini flowers?  I am not sure but they taste delicious.

Anyone who has grown zucchini knows that they are incredibly productive and as my friend Shell recently commented, you only have to turn your back on them and they are enormous.  This summer I have picked quite a few zucchini flowers and stuffed them with a mix of ricotta and fresh basil.  







If you make these please ensure there are no ants, bees or other insects in the flowers.  I have had to carefully coax a lot of little critters out of the flowers before cooking with them.

Ricotta and basil zucchini flowers
1 ½ cups ricotta*
A good handful of basil leaves or alternate with other fresh, soft herbs
Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste
Approximately 10 zucchini flowers

Preheat oven to 160°C.  Gently combine all ingredients except the zucchini flowers.

Holding each flower open, gently spoon in the ricotta mixture, pushing it down into the base of the flower very carefully.  Leave a little room at the top of the flower to prevent the ricotta mixture from spilling out.

Repeat until all flowers are filled.  Gently twist the top to hold the stuffing in place or push the petals together.  This does not have to be exact.

Place the flowers on a baking tray and cook until the flowers are softened and slightly golden and the ricotta is firm.  Season with a little extra salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  I have served these flowers with fresh bread as part of a light lunch.

*I use homemade ricotta, if you are interested in the recipe please let me know and I am happy to share it.

Do you stuff vegetables?  

53 comments :

  1. I have never tried zucchini flowers Jane! Am I missing out? They look beautiful.

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    1. They are beautiful Kate and they feel a bit gourmet although me recipe/method is far from gourmet!

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  2. So it's as easy as that? I always thought it was a lot more complicated. Might have to try it.

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    1. Hi Gillian, I am sure there are more complicated ways to cook them but this simple method works for me!

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  3. I love stuffed zucchini flowers! I've never made them myself but one of my favourite restaurants had them on their menu. When I came back for some more with another girlfriend, they brought out soooo many because they knew how much I love them - we were suitably stuffed with stuffed zucchini flowers! Home made ricotta and cheeses is definitely on our list of things to try at home. x

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    1. Thanks Lucent, homemade cheese is something I would like to do more of too!

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  4. Whaaaaat! I had no idea you could eat the flowers! How cool :) Thanks for blowing/expanding my mind, Jane!

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    1. Thanks Jess, you should try them!

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  5. did you see marco pierre white's suggestion to blow open the flowers for easier stuffing? wonderful tip.
    i would love to make these but my parents (the zuke growers) want to grow zucchinis instead. pah! lovely that you have baked and not fried.
    and jane, home-made ricotta? my admiration grows for you daily!

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    1. Thank you e. No I have not seen that tip for blowing the flowers open...I might have to track it down :)

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  6. Yes, I stuff vegetables up all the time! LOL. I have a plethora of zucchini flowers this year but have left them in the hopes of getting some zucchinis...my crop has been hit & miss. Next year I'm going to stuff a few flowers (you remove the stamen/sexy bits right)?

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    1. Hi Mel. No, I didn't remove the stamen...do you think I should of?

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Becs, I will either blog the recipe or attempt to email it to you!

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    2. Becs, if you visit again please contact me via email so I can send you the recipe...you should find my address through my profile :)

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  8. I'm yet to try stuffed zucchini flowers but they do sound delicious.
    x

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  9. We've never had enough Zucchini to stuff the flowers, but I have stuffed nasturtium flowers before, with a simple home made dip of cream cheese and herbs. They were very tasty and I bet zucchini flowers are too!

    Sarah x

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    1. This is very interesting Sarah Jane...I would not have thought to stuff nasturtium flowers, I thought they would have been too small. They sounds delicious.

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  10. I've always been in the life's too short category, but maybe I should give it a go. Yes please to the ricotta recipe.

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    1. Thanks Anne, I will email you the recipe. It is incredibly easy.

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  11. such lovely photos jane..i should do the same because my zucchinis are ridiculously fecund this summer and removing a few of the flowers would slow them down a bit..

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  12. These photos are just heaven right now as I'm buried in snow. Zucchini flowers are one of my favorite things, what a delicious recipe.

    xox Lilly

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    1. Thanks Lilly, I read your last blog post and was amazed at the weather you are experiencing. Stay safe x

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  13. I've never made stuffed zucchini flowers but have tried some an Italian friend made once and they were delicious. Beautiful photos.

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  14. They look amazing Jane. I am off to tidy up my vege patch.

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    1. Thanks Claire! The tidying up in the vege patch never ends does it?

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  15. Dear Jane, I must confess I have never stuffed zucchini flowers, but now I have your recipe and beautiful photographic guidelines... I might do so! We didn't plant zucchini this year, so might have to wait till next seasons and grow some. A lovely post!

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    1. Thank you Lizzy...and for the Facebook share too, very kind!

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  16. I've never eaten them, but always wanted to try! These look lovely :)

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  17. I love zucchini flowers! They are amazing especially when you fry them in a shallow pan!

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    1. Thank you...I might have to try the shallow pan method next time.

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  18. oh yum! must give this a go . . .

    there's only so much zucchini slice we can take!

    rachel xo

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    1. Thanks Rachel, yes I agree on the zucchini slice issue! Have you tried zucchini chocolate cake? You can only eat so much of that too but it is yummy.

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  19. Would you believe i stuff lemongrass? It's a technique i picked up in Laos. The end result is amazing. Zucchini flowers grow like weeds at the community garden i frequent ... i've tried stuffing them before, but found i was all fingers and thumbs and the whole process quite fiddly. I haven't tried for ages. But if i can stuff lemongrass, zucchini flowers should be a cinch, right? Might give it another try!

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    1. Thanks Rachel, stuffed lemongrass would be amazing!

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  20. Beautiful fresh simple recipe (the best kind) Jane

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    1. Thanks Kyrstie, yes this is simple! As I have said to previous readers I am sure there are more complicated techniques but this has worked for me :)

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  21. Wow love it and love all that you do here. Yummm xxx

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    1. Thank you Amber for your generous comments x

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  22. Yes please to the ricotta recipe. Those zucchini flowers looks incredible, my mouth is watering. I can't wait for mine to flower, I noticed you used the boy flowers does that stop the other flowers from pollinating at all?

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    1. Thanks Lizzie, I have not had any trouble with pollination but my vines/plants are enormous and vigorous and covered in flowers. I am lucky enough to have plenty of bees too...not a very technical answer but so far, so good :)

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  23. Also, I just saw in your comments about the stamen. You should definitely remove them, they are not usually great tasting, a little acidic and not in a good way.

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    1. Thanks Lizzie, I will remove them next time!

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  24. i just know that male zuccini blossom is edible too...
    tempting recipes!

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  25. I have zucchini growing but I never seem to think about getting the flowers off for stuffing, and before I know it I have a most zucchini! I really must try this recipe, I love making ricotta and I have basil growing along side of the Zucchini so I really have no excuse!

    Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Perfect! I hope you get a chance to try it :)

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  26. Wow, beautiful recipe Jane, so delicious and it really captures summer!! Life's never too short to stuff zucchini flowers ; )

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    1. Thank you Mrs M, your stuffed zucchini recipe also looks very tempting :)

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane