Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

15 07 2008

My coworker was reminiscing the other day about her father frying up some zucchini flowers with a bit of olive oil and garlic.  I was intrigued, because I had never hear of such a thing, but I loved the fact that you could eat zucchini flowers.  (I’m a big fan of using the most you can of both vegetables and animals.)  So I was delighted to come across a vendor at the market on Saturday that was selling the flowers by themselves!  Instead of just frying them up, however, I wanted to make something with a little more sustenance, so I stuffed them, similar to stuffed peppers.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

  • Zucchini flowers (I worked with about 10 of them)
  • 1 whole zucchini
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 c. shredded Italian cheese (I had leftover ParmigianoReggiano)
  • 1 c. marinara sauce (I was lazy and used store bought, or you can learn how to make your own here.)
  1. Wash and cut your zucchini in half lengthwise, then into 1/2-in. pieces.  Place them on a foil lined cookie sheet and drizzle the olive oil over them.  Season with salt and pepper, and broil both sides until softened and slightly browned.  
  2. Put the zucchini pieces in a skillet and mash them up the best you can.  Add the ground beef and cook on medium heat until browned.           
  3. Wash the zucchini flower, both inside and out.  The petals are delicate, so be gentle.  You can remove the pistils and the stamens from the inside, but I let mine in.  Stuff the zucchini flowers with the beef and mashed zucchini mixture.  Place the stuffed flowers in a baking dish and cover each flower with the shredded cheese.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the flowers for about 10 minutes.                                                 
  4. While the stuffed flowers are baking, heat up the sauce.  I put some leftover zucchini and ground beef in for flavoring.                                 
  5. When the cheese is golden brown and bubbling, take the baking pan out of the oven.  Serve the stuffed flowers with the marinara sauce.

   

I thought this was a great and slightly unusual dish.  There are a lot of variations you could do – I’ve read about zucchini flowers in soups, stir fries and salads.  I can wait to incorporate this into my meals more often!

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