Stuffed Zucchini

Fresh zucchini blossoms only last a day or two, so don’t expect to find them in the supermarket. Zucchini is notoriously prolific, however, and very easy to grow. A few plants on a sunny patio should give you an abundant supply. Many farmers’ markets sell them in season as well. Recipe from Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance.

1 cup (8.5 ounces) fresh, whole milk ricotta cheese

2 egg yolks
6 fresh chives, green part only (2 tablespoons or 6 grams, chopped)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated Parmesan cheese plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
3 or 4 grinds of black pepper or to taste
8 to 10 zucchini, squash, or pumpkin blossoms
2 tablespoon olive oil for frying

Place ricotta in a strainer set over a bowl to drain for 1 hour.

Check inside blossoms and brush away any debris or small
bugs. Submerge in cool water. Dip out and drain on paper
towels. Gently blot dry and cut off stems. Remove pistils
from male flowers with a pinch and twist motion or snip
out with kitchen shears.

Put the ricotta, egg yolks, chives, Parmesan, lemon juice,
salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix until smooth. Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions of the cheese mixture and shape with your hands into ovals. (Larger flowers may need more.) Open petals and place filling in flowers. Carefully press petals back into shape to completely enclose filling. Dust stuffed blooms with more Parmesan cheese. Let rest on a double layer of paper toweling for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a skillet. Place flowers about 1/2 inch apart in pan and fry for 2 or 3 minutes per side or until brown. Fry in batches if necessary. Sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan, if desired, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Marinara Sauce, p. 295, for dipping makes a nice addition.

Allow 2 large or 4 small stuffed blossoms per serving.

Makes 8 to 12 depending on size of blossoms.

Per serving (count excludes blossoms as no data is available)
Net carbohydrate: 1.7 grams; Protein: 5.4 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; fat: 5.2 grams; Calories: 73, Total weight for 8 large blossoms: 8 ounces or 227 grams

Weight per serving for 2 large blossoms: 2 ounces or 57 grams

Preparation time: 15 minutes active; 20 minutes total, not counting draining time

NOTE: There will probably be some filling left over that is not included in the nutrition count.

Large blossoms are gorgeous and easy to fill, but smaller, one-bite blooms are a bit more convenient for eating without cutlery.

Blossoms from any squash or pumpkin can be used for stuffing IF they have not been sprayed with unsafe chemicals.

Female flowers will have a tiny zucchini attached. Male blooms are preferable (and expendable as they have already served their purpose). The pistils are edible, but stuffing is easier if they are removed.

Edible Flowers: Roses, tulips, nasturtiums, marigolds, pansies, chives, hibiscus, banana blossoms, lily buds, and violets are popular edible flowers, but not all flowers that are edible should be eaten or used as garnish. Buy only those specifically marketed for use as food rather than flowers from a nursery or florist. Wild plants grown by the side of the road may have been sprayed with weed killer or they may have absorbed toxins from car emissions. If you don’t know the flowers are safe, don’t eat them.

The most commonly eaten flowers are broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, and capers.

Complete Cookout Menu from Nourished:
Jicama with Lime and Chili: 1.8 net carbs
Grilled Steak with Herb and Spice Rub: Steak, 0; rub, 0.5 net carbs
Baked Red Peppers Caprese: 4.9 net carbs
Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms: 1.7 net carbs
Coconut Macadamia Pie: 5.5 net carbs
Menu total: 14.4 net carbs

(c) 2013, Judy Barnes Baker,

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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10 years ago

These look great, Judy. I never managed to grow squash or zucchini, but I did use the blossoms for stuffing and frying. Delicious!