Ah, the good old summertime. Fruity-juicy cocktails, farm fresh produce and eating fancy flowers.
I’ve gathered together 3 fun recipes for one of the most popular blooms out there: zucchini blossoms. Your local farmers’ market has them in stock for the next few weeks and they are worth the trip. You can just stuff them and fry them and they are just delicious, but here are three variations I think you might enjoy.
Stuffed Baked Zucchini Blossoms
12-14 blossoms, center pistil or stamens removed
6 slices bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces
4 ounces mushrooms, small dice
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
3/4 cup cream cheese
3 egg yolks (one for filling, two for coating)
kosher or sea salt, to taste
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
olive oil, for drizzling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees . Lightly oil a baking dish or line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Cook the bacon, then remove from pan. Cut the bacon into small pieces the and set aside. Add the mushrooms and rosemary and cook until browned, 3-5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Combine the cream cheese, bacon, mushrooms, and one egg yolk together. Season with salt if needed. Gently open the blossoms and stuff with the ricotta/bacon/mushroom mixture, about 1-2 teaspoons per flower depending on the size of the flower. Froth up two eggs whites and drag flowers through and coat with bread crumbs. Lay stuffed zucchini flowers on prepared sheet pan or baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once or until browned. Serve warm.
Zucchini Blossom Frittata
12 blossoms, stems removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 oz chorizo cooked
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or tajin
7 large eggs, whisked to blend
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Gently rinse and dry zucchini blossoms. Preheat broiler. Heat oil in nonstick or cat-iron ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat with a little oil. Add onion; reduce heat to medium and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add blossoms and sauté just until wilted, turning often, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt and chorizo (cheese too if using). Spread blossoms in skillet in single layer; increase heat to medium-high. Add eggs and cook until beginning to set around edges, lifting frittata with heatproof rubber spatula and allowing eggs to flow underneath. Continue cooking until eggs are softly set, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to broiler; broil until top of frittata is set, 1 minute. Slide frittata onto platter. Sprinkle with parsley.
Zucchini Squash Blossom Quesadillas
12 blossoms, stems and stamens removed.
1 bell or poblano pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 half an onion, diced
1 teaspoon of parsley(can substitute with 1/4 cup fresh cilantro)
3 cups of Monterrey Jack or Muester cheese, grated
6 tortillas (either corn or flour)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper to taste.
Put the pepper under the broiler for about five minutes, turning once until it blackens. Place in a plastic bag, close it and let it sit for about 20 minutes. After this time has passed, take pepper out of the bag, peel it (skin should shred off easily), remove stem and seeds and dice. Gently wash squash blossoms (there can be bugs inside) and remove stems and stamens. Roughly chop.
Heat skillet to medium and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions and diced poblano and cook for about 10 minutes or until onions are clear. Add garlic,squash blossoms and salt and pepper to taste and sauté for 10 minutes or until all the liquid from the flowers has evaporated. Remove from heat and set squash-blossom filling aside.
In a skillet heated to medium, melt a tablespoon of butter. Add a tortilla and cook it on one side until it puffs (about 30 seconds).
Flip tortilla over and sprinkle over entire surface 1/4 cup of squash blossom filling and 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Top with another tortilla, and after cheese has melted and the two tortillas stick together (a couple of minutes), flip quesadilla and cook for a couple of minutes more. Repeat for the remainder of the filling and tortillas. Makes three quesadillas.