Zucchini Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms – Recipe

Tempura_Zucchini_Blossoms

Zucchini-stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Zucchini blossoms are one of the most beautiful and delicate items of summer produce. You may find them still attached to tiny zucchini, or sold separately. Look around at farmer's markets to find beautiful specimens. They are expensive by the pound but they don't weigh much!

I learned a great way to keep zucchini blossoms for a day or so from the good folks at Alvarez Farms – put them in a plastic produce bag, blow it up like a balloon and tie it tight. This "airbag" will protect them from unwanted buffeting from the other denizens of your produce bin.

The flavor of zucchini blossoms is very mild. So I don't really get why people stuff them in quesadillas and such. To me the value is in the visual appeal of the flower, so I always look for ways to emphasize that.

For today's recipe, we will caramelize tiny dice of zucchini to amp up the flavor, and mix that with goat cheese, a classic pairing. The blossoms are then fried in tempura batter, but only half way up, so the petals still peek out. 

You could serve this as a fairly substantial part of an entree plate, or as an appetizer. A little pesto or chimichurri seals the deal.

Zucchini-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
Vegetarian
Serves 4 as part of an entree plate or 8 as an appetizer

  • 2 cups finely diced zucchini
  • 1/4 cup finely diced white onion
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 oz. chevre (fresh, soft goat cheese)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • salt
  • 16 large zucchini blossoms
  • enough vegetable oil for deep frying in your smallest saucepan, about 3" deep
  • 1 cup basic tempura batter (whisk together 1 egg, 1 cup flour, 1 cup ice cold water, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt; thin as needed with ice cold water to a thin pancake batter consistency)
  • 1/2 cup homemade pesto thinned with olive oil, or chimichurri
  1. Saute the zucchini, onion and a big pinch of salt in the olive oil over high heat until quite deeply brown; you want to drive off the moisture and really caramelize the zucchini to develop the flavor.
  2. Combine the zucchini mixture with the goat cheese, smoked paprika, lime zest and juice and mix thoroughly. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Put this mixture into a pastry bag with a big tip, or a zip-loc type bag with a corner cut out.
  3. To stuff the zucchini blossoms, gently untwist and pull apart the petals. Pull out the stamens/anthers/pistils as best you can without destroying the flower. Pipe in a good amount of the goat cheese mixture, maybe about 1.5 tablespoons. Pull the petals over the mixture, and give them a little twist. Lay them flat on a plate until ready to fry.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a very small pot to about 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Working one blossom at a time. Pick the flower up from the petal end, using tongs. Dip it about halfway into the tempura batter, then let the excess drip back into the bowl. Hold it in the hot oil, keeping the un-battered part out. Swish it around for about 30 seconds until the batter is browned. Remove to paper towels and season with fleur de sel or other sea salt.
  5. Serve with the pesto or chimichurri.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, July 12th, 2010 in Appetizers, Recipes.

15 Responses to “Zucchini Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms – Recipe”

  1. July 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    I actually had no idea that you could eat the blossoms. My zuchs are running everything else out of my garden so this will keep them under control as well.

  2. July 14, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    It’s been a while since I’ve stopped by, just wanted to tell you what a fabulous blog you have! Good stuff! THanks!

  3. July 14, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    I have eaten zucchini flowers at restaurants but have never made them myself. I love the way they look. I am going to give these a try. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. July 15, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    Gorgeous! I can’t find them where I live – although I suppose if grew zucchini myself—- nah, that’s not going to happen. I’ll just covet yours.

  5. Annalisa
    July 15, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    I’ve got to try this one… this will be a good appetizer for my anti-vegetarian friends. The cheese and the light frying will make them forget they ‘don’t like vegetarian’ dishes. That, and the fact the I don’t call nething I make ‘vegetarian’! Beautiful photo as usual. Love your blog!!!

  6. July 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Mmm I have so many squash blossoms right now. It’s really incredible how many blossoms those plants produce. I should make this!

  7. July 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    What a great idea. Ours, too are out of control, so hopefully this will help. I did not discriminate between the male or female blossoms. Having it with a light lemon-basil quinoa salad.

  8. July 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    I am in rapture I adore Zucchini and the blossoms are so delicate to eat them would be a delight.

    Sara
    http://www.momentsofelegance.com

  9. August 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Zucchini blossoms! Never heard of it until today. I have never seen these at Farmer’s market in Seattle since I never knew about them. I am going to look for these at the University Farmer’s market. If not found, where else do you think I can find them? The recipe looks tasty. A few weeks ago, I made zucchini fritters from zucchinis I got from the farmer’s market. I like Chevre cheese. So I might try this recipe.

    I cook mostly vegetarian Indian food that is not available in Indian restaurants and post the recipes and am always looking to get new ideas. Your blog is interesting and has lot of info on vegetarian food.

  10. Michael Natkin
    August 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    @hint – The Alvarez Farm's booth will still have them, and maybe one or two others as well. I think it is just one of those things you don't notice because you aren't expecting them. Your blog look's great, I'm jealous of your recent Vij's trip :)

  11. September 13, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    These were fabulous! Alvarez still has the blossoms, even in September, and while I was at the Market I heard Beecher’s chevre calling my name from across the street. Match made in foodie heaven. It was much simpler than expected, too. The sauteed onion and zucchini caramelized beautifully and I just carefully stuffed it into the blossoms with a knife. I’d never made a tempura but the batter was quick and I came out of the deep frying process without injury. The results…delicious. The blossoms were so tender, the filling so creamy and savory.

    Thank you for the perfect, elegant appetizer for my veggie guests this weekend.

  12. March 12, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Michael, this sounds like a great appetizer! We generally stuff them with a rice mixture here in Turkey. Cheese mixture sounds so intriguing to me, will definitely give it a try when its season comes!

    • March 12, 2013 at 11:55 am #

      Oooh, what else goes in the rice mixture?

      • March 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

        We use almost the same rice mixture any vegetable we stuff. Do you remember my cabbage rolls, which you mentioned in one of your posts: link to herbivoracious.com ?
        The rolls were stuffed with that mixture; rice, chopped onion, pepper paste, olive oil, chopped parsley, garlic, tomato, ground black pepper, dried mint, thyme. In some regions, tomato and pepper paste are left out.

  13. January 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    A great recipe I can’t wait to try out. I love Zucchini and those adventurous enough to use it! I wish more would.

    I came up with my own version of a Stuffed Zucchini with an Arab twist. While different from your own, I think its a unique take on the dish. I’m new to the Food Blog scene and would love some feedback from a pro like you. Check out my recipe if have time.

    link to persnicketypanhandler.blogspot.com

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