I remember first seeing zucchini blossoms as a child.
They were large and brightly colored orange and I somehow knew they were drinking cups for little summer fairies, used by them to drink the morning dew.
My grandmother would cook them in the oven after stuffing with rice and serve them for a light summery lunch with a tomato salad.
When we had guests over she would stuff them with feta cheese and herbs and coated by a mix of flour. Then she would throw them in a hot olive oil pan and make them golden.
Walking in the garden of the vacation house this morning, I couldnt help notice the zucchini plant blooming..
I had been obsessing over cooking some zucchini blossoms for a couple of years but somehow i was never at the house at the right time of the season so you must understand how excited and surprised I was.
Its important to pick the flowers up in the morning, before the sun comes up. Otherwise they will close.
There are 2 types of flowers. Male and Female ones… The male flowers grow from the stem of the plant, while the female flowers grow on the end of each emergent zucchini.
(female flower collected at the wrong moment…see how the petals are closing?)
(male flowers collected at dawn)
After collecting the flowers, you must remove the pistils and stamens as they taste very very bitter.
Wash them delicately and prepare the stuffing.
For the feta one, I combine feta, fresh mint and parsley, egg yolks and occasionally a drop of honey.
For the rice ones, I make a mixture of rice, zucchini, peterselie, onion and garlic.
There are a lot of different recipes out there and I would encourage you to experiment with them trying to create your flavor. You can easily add an ingredient or remove one from any of the above suggestions.
You can keep the stem of the male flowers while they cook. Its very handy as you can hold the flower from the stem and prevent damaging the delicate petals.