Canary Yellow Blossoms Stuffed, Baked and Eaten!
It all started with a trip to our local farmers market where a stall holder was selling a bag of bright yellow zucchini blossoms for $2. I’d only just travelled back from Turkey, where stuffed zuchinni blossoms are a popular Meze served at the local restaurants, so with the memory of their delicate taste still lingering my my mind – I couldn’t resist.
I wasn’t sure how to prepare them, so when I got home, I googled for recipes. The consensus of opinion was a standard filling of rice, sultanas and pine nuts, with a cautionary word that the blossoms didn’t need much cooking, or else they’d disintegrate.
I rinsed the Blossoms carefully and laid them between paper towels to dry, and then got to work on the filling.
I didn’t have any rice, so I searched the cupboards for other grain options, and came across these two options, which I cooked and combined:
Filling: Other Ingredients
Dried Fruit: As the grains were cooling off in a bowl, I added a mixture of raisins, sultanas and dried cranberries, and put a lid on the bowl so that the steam would stay in the mixture and absorb into the dried fruit; thus plumping and softening it.
The following were also added to the filling mixture:
- Onions: Chopped and diced small and lightly sauteed until brown
- Pine Nuts: Dry sauteed until brown (watch these carefully so they don’t burn)
- Orange Pepper: Chopped and diced small and left raw
- Crumbled Goat Cheese
- Fresh Oregano
- Salt and Pepper to taste
That was the easy part! Then I turned the oven onto 450F to preheat, and began the challenging part of stuffing the blossoms:
The Blossoms were different sizes, and the large blossoms were easy to stuff – but the smaller ones were delicate little critters, and I made the mistake of overstuffing some of them, and they just fell to pieces and had to be thrown away.
Other blossoms split – but as long as there was still some structure to them, I kept them. By the end of it, I had a pyrex dish full of stuffed Zucchini blossoms, some a little bit more in tact than others.
I placed them in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the flesh of the blossoms turned from opaque white to a little bit transparent.
Once they were cool, I drizzled them with a mixture of light olive oil and Pul Biber (red pepper flakes from Yalikavak Market)
Here’s the finished product:
I couldn’t resist trying a couple of the smaller ones when they were still hot, and they tasted delicious. The blossoms don’t really taste of much, so are more of a casing for the nutty, sweet grain filling. The oil and Pul Biber are a perfect garnish for adding a touch of firey spice and moisture.
After they’d cooled down, I nestled them in an airtight container and left them to chill in the fridge.
This chilling process firms up the blossoms, and makes them less likely to fall apart.
They’re fiddley and time consuming to make, but the taste and texture combination of this dish, make them an ideal party dish, and a definite conversation starter.