Have you ever tried delicious stuffed zucchini flowers? It is a famous summer dish in the Aegean Sea side. It is a little bit complicated for sellers to gather zucchine flowers as they need to be picked early morning before sunrise when they are still opened because flowers close itself when they absorb the sun.
I was surprised when I found them in my regular supermarket. Yes, I know it is strange to find them in winter time. Nevertheless, I wanted to try. The aroma was less than what I ate many times in summer, nevertheless, the result was very successful.
I stuffed them with rice that is used traditionally but you can also use quinoa or bulgur.
Also as an alternative, if you can’t find zucchini flowers, you can use chard leaves too (like below) :
- 3 tablespoon olive
- 1 finely chopped medium size onion
- ½ mug rice (for around 18 middle size zucchini blossoms)
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried mint or 2/3 fresh mint leaves (optional)
- 1 finely chopped garlic bulb
- 1 finely chopped fresh tomato (in winter time, you can use 1 tablespoon tomato paste)
- 1 pine kernels
- 1/2 mug water for the rice (water and rice amount need to be the same) and around ½ mug water for the pan.
Wash and drain rice.
Put 3 tablespoon olive oil and chopped onions into pan and stir onions until they become softer and their color turn to golden (5-7 minutes and the heat needs to be around 5 out of 10)
Add garlic and tomato paste and stir around 2 minutes more.
Add rice and continue to stir (3-4 more minutes) and add water.
Reduce the heat (3 out of 10) and close the pan and cook until rice absorbs all water (5 minutes) and close the heat and wait 20 minutes.
Put 1 tablespoon olive oil and pine nuts into pan and then stir the pine nuts on low heat until their color becomes golden.
Then, add parsley and mint and pine kernels.
You need to make sure that stuffing needs to be cold enough to touch.
Also note that blossoms are so sensitive. Therefore, you need to be carefully while removing the stamen from inside the flower.
Add approximately 2 teaspoon rice for each blossom close them carefully. Place stuffed blossoms on a pan and close them with a plate.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil into ½ mug water and add them into pan (water needs to be roughly 0.5 cm below from blossoms.
Cook around 40 minutes.