28 May 2010

Home cooking: Crumbed Zucchini Flowers with Herbed Ricotta (24 May 2010)

The challenge of zucchini flowers

OMG ... I take my hat off to anyone that can cook stuffed zucchini flowers. I never knew what I was getting myself into when I tried stuffing these babies — it was so messy and fiddly! These were bought directly from the supplier John & Carmel Zavaglia who had a stall at Primo Italiano Festival 2010. I noticed they also stock them at Royal Randwick Fruit Market for the same price but they were in a fresher and better state directly from the market grower. I think I might have even seen them selling them at Eveleigh Farmers Market too. The flowers came with an A4 sheet of eight recipes so I made my recipe variation combining two of them. The messy part from egging and crumbing them and the awkward part from stuffing them. Luckily I had a piping bag but at times I felt like I needed an extra hand. I accidently broke two of the stems by trying to twist and remove the inner stigma so I gave up doing this — not even sure if it was necessary in the end. I fondly remember MUMU Grill stuffed zucchini flowers but they had a different type of batter — I think it was a tempura style batter.

6-8 zucchini flowers
2 eggs (1 might be enough)
1/4 cup of Parmesan (I used less than this)
Bunch of parsley
Mixed herbs
Salt and Pepper
Butter or Vegetable oil for frying (I used olive oil but think vegetable oil might have been a better choice)
Breadcrumbs (I used Panko breadcrumbs)

Ricotta, grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, finely chopped fresh parsley

Fill the ricotta flowers using a piping pack with the filling. Twist the flower petals to close.
Beat the two eggs in a bowl and coat the zucchini flowers. Another recipe said to flour first so I tried half of them with this technique.
In another bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, dry mixed herbs, salt and pepper.
Roll the zucchinis in the dry mixture then shallow fry in butter or oil until lightly brown.
Place on absorbent paper to drain before serving.

PROS: Versatile for recipes ie fried, baked, stir fry, Tastes great when cooked correctly, Cheap to buy
CONS: Very fiddly, messy and delicate to stuff
MUST TRY: Finding the perfect simple recipe

Breadcrumbs, parmesan, herbs and spices

Beaten egg

Filling of ricotta, parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper

Stuffing the zucchini flower with a piping bag

Stuffed flowers (with a couple of casualties of war)

Egged and crumbed zucchini flowers

Shallow frying the flowers

Drain cooked flowers on absorbent paper

Ready to eat — watch out for the creamy filling


Angie's Recipes said...

I wish I could get some zucchini flowers here...this looks crazily delicious with smooth cheesy filling and crunchy panko coating!

3 hungry tummies said...

Give me a glass of chilled white wine and I'm in heaven!

Sara @ Belly Rumbles said...

Zucchini flowers are a family favourite of ours. There is a lil trick to the stuffing but once you have the knack it is easy and no breakages. I stuff mine with ricotta, basil, parmesan and a pinch of nutmeg.

john@heneedsfood said...

As fiddly as it may have been, the outcome looks damn delicious Simon!

missklicious said...

I LOVE stuffed zucchini flowers. For one, they are oh so pretty looking, and so yummy too!

Cathy x. said...

hi simon! it was great to meet you the other night! :D

ps. tempura batter normally works better because it seals in the stuffing. fish tweezers are perfect for removing the stamen and don't forget to deep fry!


Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Zuchini flowers are so gorgeous (to look at and to eat). I tried doing them myself once and found that I did struggle a bit too, not so much the stuffing part but the frying of them. They tasted so good though.

Simon Leong said...

hi angie, i always seem to love anything that's crumbed. must be a childhood thing :-)

hi 3 hungry tummies, me too. that would go quite nicely.

hi sara, so what's the trick in stuffing them? i'm at a loss how to make it easier. is it getting someone else to help? your stuffing recipe sounds great.

hi john, your too kind. thanks! i think i burnt it a little but there's no harm in a bit of extra crispyness :-)

hi missklicious, first time i've tried it and now i can keep in mind when i see them in the markets again to buy.

hi cathy x, i'll have to remember your recipe for next time. fish tweezers is a great idea — i never thought about that. i haven't got a deep fryer so i might have to get one to do the batter version. thanks for the recipe link.

hi angie, i think i over did the frying but really wanted them crispy. i think next time i'd turn them more often because they do brown up pretty quick.

Anna said...

Oh thanks for sharing, Simon. After watching Masterchef this week I was thinking of giving zucchini flowers a go. They do look delicious, albeit a little fiddly. But I think it's worth a try :)

Simon Leong said...

hi ladybird, it was quite funny seeing them on MasterChef. I knew they were going to be fiddly and take a long time to do once i saw them hehe hope you give them a go and looking forward to seeing your cooking results :-)

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