July 7, 2011 by Sara Kreidler
We received zucchini blossoms in the CSA box this week, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them.
Uncle Google seems to prefer the recipes that involve stuffing the blossoms with cheese, dipping them in batter, deep frying them and serving with a creamy dipping sauce. And while that sounds really wonderful, I was hoping for something a little bit lighter on account of the fact that we just came back from
pig out fest 2011 summer vacation and I’m trying to eat a little better.
I used a combination of zucchini, tomato, basil and goat cheese for the filling because that’s what I had on hand, but you could easily vary this recipe with different veggies and herbs. Please note that the ingredient amounts listed below are approximate; I used what I had on hand and eyeballed the amounts. If you want more goat cheese and less zucchini (or the other way around), go for it — I am confident you will still get great results.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup zucchini, diced small
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup ripe tomato, diced small
- 12 zucchini blossoms
- 6 basil leaves
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove goat cheese from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature while you prep the rest of the recipe.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sized cast iron skillet over medium high flame. Add onion and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add tomato and cook for one minute. Remove pan from heat and transfer cooked vegetables to a small bowl to cool.
- While the vegetables are cooling, gently open each zucchini blossom and remove the stamen by pinching it off at the base with your fingers. Gently rinse each blossom, inside and out, with cold water. Drain the clean blossoms for a few minutes, then gently pat with a clean cloth to remove excess water. Note: The blossoms are very fragile and tear easily, but it’s pretty easy to reshape them once you stuff them, so don’t worry if you split the blossom in the process of removing the stamen and washing; as long as the split petals are still attached to the base of the blossom, you’ll be able to use it.
- Stack basil leaves on top of each other and roll into a cigar shape, then thinly slice with a sharp knife. Add sliced basil and goat cheese to the cooked zucchini and tomato mixture and use a wooden spoon or spatula to cream the vegetables and cheese together. Season with salt and pepper.
- Brush the bottom of a baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Lay a zucchini blossom flat on a clean work surface and open the blossom as much as possible, taking care not to rip the blossom from its base. Carefully stuff the blossom with about 1 tablespoon of the cheese and vegetable filling and reshape the petals around the filling to close it. Transfer the stuffed blossom to the oiled baking dish and repeat until all of the blossoms are stuffed. Note: This step sounds much more complicated than it really is; once you stuff the first blossom, it’s pretty easy to do the rest. Stuffing 12 blossoms took me less than 5 minutes.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the stuffed blossoms with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; if you don’t have a brush, drizzle oil over the blossoms instead. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned in spots. Serve hot.