These blossoms are the flowers found at the end of the zucchini or courgette. They are often battered and fried but you can prepare them other ways too. This Meatless Monday gives you a few ideas to add a touch of culinary elegance to your summer dinner table.
Second to deep-frying, baking and pan frying are the preferred methods in preparing zucchini blossoms. Heat element to medium heat (about 350ºF for the oven or medium for the stove top) and cook about 10 minutes, until the filling is heated through. Stuffing suggestions:
- cream cheese (dairy or non-dairy) with fresh herbs
- cooked quinoa and lentils or nuts with seasonings
- diced zucchini, tomato and red pepper with chopped olives and feta or ‘tof-eta’ (tofu marinated to mimic salty feta taste)
- sweetened cream cheese (again dairy or non-dairy) with dried fruit
- Remove stamen inside the flower and green thorny bits on the outside. Lightly clean in some water.
- Be careful when pulling apart the petals. They are quite delicate and can tear to the point where they can’t be persuaded to hold the filling.
- Don’t over stuff! A teaspoon of mixture will suffice.
- Eat within a few days of opening package. These flowers can turn brown in a short period of time.
Simply peel the petals and scatter them over a cold salad or hot pasta. Although they can be eaten raw, they are plant material and a little fibrous to consume. A dousing of vinaigrette or sauce can help soften them up a little.
Hidden in this roast vegetable and Israeli couscous salad are some zucchini blossoms. Can you spot them?