Stuffed Zucchini Flowers is a great favorite of ours. We were taught to make this dish by visiting friends from Puglia which is the southernmost province of Italy. Valentina is the most wonderful cook and taught us a great deal about how to select the right produce. In addition, She stressed that traditional Italian dishes use very few ingredients.
This dish sounds amazing complex but is actually very easy to make. With this in mind, the difficult part is trying to source the zucchini flowers. I find the best way to solve this problem is to grow your own.
Stuffed zucchini success rests in the flowers, and primarily depends on the freshness of the flower and its lacy crispness, that is to say, it must never be frazzled but perfectly fried to preserve the light and delicate flavor of this marvelous blossom.
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta make a great vegetarian entrée. This is a basic recipe that you can amend to suit your taste and audience.
- 16 zucchini flowers
- 300 g Smoked Cheese
- 100 g Pancetta
- Oil for frying ideally good quality Olive Oil
Wash the zucchini flowers very gently under cold running water
Remove the hard stamen from inside and arrange the flowers on a clean tea towel to dry
In the meantime, thinly slice the cheese to a size that is easily inserted into the flower and wrap around the Pancetta.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of grated nutmeg.
Open the flower petals well and start to fill the inner cavity with the stuffing, taking care not to overdo the quantity.
Close the tips of the petals inwards so that the filling remains in place. Coat the zucchini blossoms with flour and fry them in very hot oil.
When a delicate external crust has formed on the outer surface of the flowers and they have turned a nice golden color, remove them from the pan and leave to drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
Serve almost immediately.
Another technique used for frying zucchini blossoms is that of coating them with flour, followed by beaten egg and a final coating of flour. This procedure makes the outer surface even crisper. Alternatively, try baking in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes for an even lighter and more delicious result! You can also change the smoked cheese and pancetta for Ricotta Cheese and grated parmesan. This too is really tasty.
Where the recipe for stuffed zucchini flowers comes from is a mystery. Also because each region of the Italian peninsula has its own traditional recipe for making them. However, what they all have in common is their delicate flavor. Stuffed zucchini flowers are crisp little morsels with a tantalizing filling, ideally served as a starter to a chic, sophisticated dinner.