Zucchini flowers are a problem for me. If I see them for sale, I just can’t seem to walk past them without buying them. The problem is not really the excessive purchasing, but instead the fact that they taste wonderful stuffed and deep fried.
All that deep frying is not healthy for an individual, so given I am taken to purchasing them rather regularly with thanks to the great produce on offer at Ramsgate Organic Foodies Market, I need to find healthier ways to eat them.
I’ve tried healthier options in the past with great results so thought I would try them for lunch this weekend stuffed and baked.
I’ve decided this is a great healthy way to eat zucchini flowers. They aren’t as crunchy as the fried option, but with a flavourful filling the blossoms taste wonderful and are much better for my waistline.
BAKED ZUCCHINI FLOWERS
6 large zucchini blossoms, with zucchini attached
3 rashers shirt cut rindless bacon, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
4 large cup mushrooms, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 lge red chilli, finely chopped
1 cup low fat ricotta
1/4 cup low fat milk
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp continental parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
Olive oil spray
Salt & pepper
Heat olive oil in medium fry pan and add spring onions, garlic and chilli till onions soften. Add bacon and cook for 3 minutes. Then add mushrooms and saute till mushrooms suffer. Remove from heat and cool mixture.
While mixture is cooling prepare the flowers by removing the stamen inside the flowers with tweezers being careful not to damage the flower. Rinse flowers gently and pat dry on paper towel.
Place cooled mixture into a bowl and add ricotta, milk, lemon zest, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and put mixture into a piping bag with a large nozzle (large enough for the mixture to pipe through the bag).
Pipe the mixture into the flowers being careful not to over pipe the mixture into the flowers. Leave enough room in the top of the flowers to twist the petals closed.
Spray a baking dish with a little olive oil and place the zucchini flowers top to tail in the dish. Spray olive oil over the zucchini flowers and season with salt and pepper.
Place in an oven preheated to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.
Perfect served for lunch with a rocket and fennel salad or as an entree.