Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Tomato Sauce Recipe

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Tomato Sauce Recipe
Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Tomato Sauce

Arthur Bovino

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Tomato Sauce

My grandparents have been growing vegetables on the same land my great-grandfather tilled when he first came to this country from Italy. And as long as I can remember they've grown zucchini and squash on terraces between the concord grapes my great-grandfather planted along them almost a century ago. Anytime I'm visiting them up in Massachusetts and I see a bunch of blossoms growing I try to grab them to bring back with me. Doesn't get much more farm-to-table than stuffing homegrown zucchini blossoms.

Conventional practice is to batter the blossoms, but one, that makes them heavier, and two, they're gorgeous, why ya wanna go and hide 'em! So sometimes I skip the battering and just give them a quick sauté in some butter and oil. It's a simple process and a quick, simple tomato sauce adds a nice touch.

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • Olive oil
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 or 3 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

For the blossoms:

  • 1 cup sheep's milk ricotta (regular ricotta works fine)
  • 3 tablespoons Stracchino cheese (completely optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon of grated lemon peel
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 zucchini blossoms
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

Directions

For the sauce:

It's really just some fresh crushed tomatoes given a quick sauté in olive oil. Warm the oil, toss the tomatoes in, season, add basil, then simmer while you prep the blossoms.

For the blossoms:

Mix your cheese filling. You can go with plain old ricotta but sometimes it's nice to add in other flavors. To the cheeses, add a touch of lemon juice, grated lemon, red pepper flake, salt, and fresh ground pepper.

Gently pull back the petals so that you can remove the stamen from each blossom. Try not to break the petals, but if you do it's not the end of the world, there's going to be enough cheese in them they should stick together even if you fully split them in half.

Gently stuff the blossoms (between 1-2 tablespoons each depending on the size of the blossom). Warm oil and butter, gently sauté each blossom about a minute on each side. Dress with sauce and eat as a side or an appetizer!

Stuffed Zucchini Shopping Tip

A melon baller will make it easier to scoop out the seeds.

Stuffed Zucchini Cooking Tip

In order to remove the seeds, you'll need to halve and blanch the zucchini first for about 5 minutes in salted, boiling water. Cool in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.