Fiori di Zucca al Forno, Ripieni con Couscous Saporito
Oven Baked Savory Zucchini Blossoms with Couscous Filling
Maybe it was the surprisingly sunny and wonderful weather today, maybe it was just the fact that it was pure chance that I stumbled upon them in the first place, but when I DID stumble upon these wonderful little zucchini-blossoms, I just had to have them!
I had never made them before- nor had I even eaten them... so this was to be a cool little experiment! I know that they are often stuffed with some kind of cream cheese or ricotta and then deep fried- which sounds perfectly yummy, but I wanted to do something much lighter and just plain... different!
First thing I did, was to carefully get my fingers inside and to snap off the little stamen, which holds the pollen and un-yummy powder that you do not want to be eating. I then rinsed the blossoms off to make sure there were no bugs or critters in the folds of those delicate petals. Next step- Couscous!
To prepare the filling, I finely chopped spring onions, parsley and mint and added it to the couscous, which I then poured boiling water onto, stirred well and allowed it to cool and swell... and THEN I set about preparing the other ingredients. I added finely chopped black olives, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, grated salted ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, cayenne, a little honey and a little nutmeg. I mixed this well and allowed it to stand for 5-6 minutes.
To fill the blossoms, hold them open and carefully spoon in the savory couscous filling. Don't over fill them- you will only get a really nice result if you are careful. Once you have filled the blossoms, give them a half twist to "seal" them and lay them on an oven tray. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake at a moderate heat for 10 minutes. After that time, carefully flip them over once and pop them under the broiler to finish things off and get them very lightly browned.
I enjoyed mine with a few cherry tomatoes, which I gently fried with garlic, sliced basil and a little oregano... yum! A simple, delicious dish, filled with all the flavors of a Sicilian Summer... enjoy!