Zucchini and Mint-Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Source: Brian Streeter, Cakebread Cellars
Both female and male blossoms grow on a zucchini plant. The fruit grows from the female blossom and the male is fruitless, which makes it ideal for cooking with. The blossoms should be picked early in the morning, when they are open, to make cleaning easier. Be careful when you pull out the pistil because the flowers are delicate and can tear easily.
Serves 4 to 6
8-12 squash blossoms
1 small zucchini, grated
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
3 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
¼ cup dried bread crumbs
2 teaspoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, finely shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Brush the bottom and sides of a large casserole dish with olive oil.
- Trim the blossom stems to 1-inch lengths and carefully remove the pistils from the blossoms. Rinse the blossoms under cold water to remove any dirt that might be hiding in the folds of the petals. Set aside.
- Set the zucchini in a large fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl or sink. Sprinkle with the salt and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the onion in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Cook for about 6 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent, stirring often to prevent browning. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is nearly evaporated, stirring often. Squeeze handfuls of the zucchini at a time to eliminate any excess moisture. Add zucchini to the onion mixture and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until dry. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- Combine the bread crumbs, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the parsley in a small bowl. Set aside.
- When the onion mixture is cool, stir the feta and mint into it. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the onion mixture into a soup spoon and slide into the center of a blossom. Pinch together the ends. Arrange in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the bread crumb mixture over the top. Repeat with the remaining blossoms. Bake for 15 minutes, until the filling is warm and the bread crumbs are crunchy.