Saturday, 24 March 2012

Growing Out for Dinner

Fiori di Zucca ripieni di Ricotta con le Erbe
Zucchini Blossoms stuffed with Herb Ricotta

I love trying new things and despair at the thought of how so many of us eat the same things day in and day out. There are so many things out there that we CAN eat- and we are indeed privileged to live in a society where we do have options. So many things get overlooked, or seem too difficult or complicated to prepare, or appear to be expensive, that most people pass them by.

But to be brutally honest, many people are eating too much, too unhealthy and simply too unthinkingly. Take these delicate little zucchini blossoms. You may say, what is the point? Or that they are more trouble than they are worth, or that you could by a couple of bags of potato chips and a dipping sauce for the same price and have that as an appetizer... but then you would be missing out!

I prepared a stuffing for these out of low fat cream cheese- actually, again, being in Germany,  chose to use cheese curd, which is readily available and very popular over here. But you could certainly used a fresh, creamy ricotta or any other cream cheese that you prefer.

Herbs and a Spring onion were the other other ingredients- all as finely chopped as possible. I made a mix of parsley, mint, ramps, and a little rosemary. I added these to the cheese curd along with a squeeze of lemon juice, the grated zest of half a lemon and a hint of cayenne pepper. I seasoned with salt, regular pepper and nutmeg and stirred well together. To add a little texture and bite, I also added some toasted sunflower seeds, and about enough breadcrumbs to turn everything into a nice compact mass. And basically

that was the filling already prepared and ready to go!

The blossoms themselves need to be carefully opened, and the stamen inside needs to be removed- it snaps out very easily. Now scoop a teaspoonful of the mixture out of the bowl and into the zucchini blossom. Just ease it into place and squeeze the ends of the blossoms together- they will stick easily together and stay in shame with no problems at all.

Drizzle very lightly with olive oil, make sure they are coated evenly all-round and place into a very hot oven for 5 minutes, then remove, flip over carefully and finish off for a final 5 minutes, until golden and brown... It really is all as simple as that!

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