Saturday, December 09, 2006

More Zucchini Flowers

A few weeks back I made Stuffed Zucchini Flowers using female flowers - today I've managed to find male zucchini flowers

boy flowers

The most obvious difference is the absence of the baby zucchini though that stalk is perfectly edible. The other differences are more subtle - you'll find that the flower petals don't part as easily as their female counterparts and removal of the stamen takes a bit more effort. It's a balancing act to not damage the flower.

Though if you decide not to eat them they do make a nice little posy!

posy

With this batch I've modified the earlier stuffing ingredients and added some finely diced sweet potato and sage.

stuffed flowers

Sweet Potato Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
[Makes 12]

12 male zucchini flowers, stamen removed

Filling:
100 grams ricotta
20 grams grated Parmigiano Reggiano
80 grams finely cubed sweet potato, boiled
4 fresh sage leaves, finely sliced
freshly ground white pepper and salt

Batter:
½ cup plain flour
½ teaspoon dry yeast
¾ cup warm water

Make the batter:
Sift the flour into a bowl, sprinkle in the dry yeast and stir well with a whisk to amalgamate. Pour in the water and continue whisking until a smooth paste forms. Let this rest half an hour before using.

Make the filling:
With the sweet potato, it's important that they are cut to a very small cube - they do have to go inside the flower so use that as your guide. Once they are boiled and drained, sprinkle over with the finely sliced sage, salt and pepper and stir through.
Heat a little oil in a frypan and when hot add the sweet potato and sage. Sauté until the surface has crusted and is slightly golden. Turn out onto paper towels to remove any excess oil and allow to cool.

Place the ricotta in a bowl with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano - stir well to amalgamate. Add the cooled sweet potato and fold through.

Take spoonfuls of the filling and shape into a tight cylinder. Gently ease the petals apart and insert the filling, fold the petals back around the filling and give them a little twist. Be careful not to overfill - only fill the bulbous part, stopping before the petals segment.

Once all the flowers are filled, store them in the fridge until ready to cook.

Use a saucepan that's just wide enough fit the flowers. Heat until the oil reaches about 150°C - test with a few drops of batter, it should start to sizzle and float to the surface.

Hold onto the stalk and dip it into the batter, pull it out, give it a shake to remove any excess batter and then dip into the oil, flower first. Your fingertips will get a bit of batter on them but this is the best way to do it. Only cook 1 to 2 at a time - they should take about 1 minute. Make sure the oil is deep enough that the flowers can roll around and brown on all sides.

Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

cooked

Inside the sweet potato are like little jewels set amid the oozing, warm cheese - the batter adding a crunch as you bite into the delicate flowers.

inside

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16 comments:

  1. white_poplarDecember 09, 2006

    These look absolutely beautiful! I don't know if I want to eat them!

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  2. I'm so intrigued to try stuffing zucchini flowers, but I have to wait for the summer. Your pictures are beautiful!

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  3. You learn something new every day! I'd wondered why some flowers have little zucchs attached and some don't, and there's my answer!

    These look wonderful, and I think the new stuffing with the sweet potato is a bit more up my alley than just cheese :)

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  4. Thanks WP - after the first bite you can't help yourself ;)

    Thanks Burcu - they are well worth trying when in season.

    Thanks Ellie - the males needed something more in the filling department, the sweet potato makes up for the absence of the little zucchini.

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  5. How interesting. I didn't know there were fe/male verions. Your recipe looks delicious.

    Paz

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  6. I made some stuffed zucc flowers a couple of weeks ago! picked them up from the slow food market. they must've been male as there was no baby zucc attached, was wondering about that!

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  7. Thanks Paz!

    Hi Cin - The slow food market is great - we might have even crossed paths buying zucchini flower!

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  8. Haalo, every time I come here I learn something new - other than the recipe itself!

    I didn't know about boy/girl flowers, I thought it was so cute!

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  9. Thanks Patricia - that's very lovely of you! Boy flowers aren't quite as good as girl flowers ;)

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  10. Thanks Haalo!! I hadn't realized you could eat the male flowers along with the female ones. Since finding this out I will now be serving up the male flowers with lunch today!! Thanks!!! I love your recipes!!!!And your blog too!!!

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  11. Thanks Pat - hope you have a great lunch!

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  12. Haalo, just to let you know they were a huge success!! I did change the recipe slightly and will be adding some polenta/corn meal to your batter for an added crunch when fried. I have posted a link on my blog to your recipe. Thanks again!!!!! They were just brillant!

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  13. Thanks Pat - I do like the idea of adding polenta I must try that when flowers are in season again! So glad you enjoyed them!

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  14. AnonymousJuly 11, 2008

    i heard you can get pregnant from eating male zuccini flowers. is that true?

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  15. Yes anon of course that is true - that is how you get baby squash

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  16. Wow wow wow!!! We had these last night and they were absolutely delicious!! I tried some of the cheese mix before I stuffed the flowers and I knew they were going to be good! Thanks for the recipe - I'm sure we're going to have these many more times!

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