Saturday, 28 April 2012

Flowering Inferno

Fiori di Zucca Ripieni di Couscous, Pancetta, Olive, Ricotta e Menta 
Zucchini Blossoms filled with Couscous, Bacon, Olives, Ricotta, Tomato, Mint and Lime

Oh, don't worry! There is no eternal damnation involved in the preparation of this dish- just some devilish delight in the eating of it! This is my third foray into the world of the zucchini blossom and I must say that my enjoyment grows every time I try them!

I decided to make another couscous filled version, but added a few more ingredients to make it richer and more satisfying... and turned them into a wonderful Springtime dish that I am sure you will enjoy too!

Obviously, the first thing we need to do is to prepare the filling and it went something like this: 1 cup couscous, 1 red lentils, 1 cup of fresh ricotta or cheese curds, 1 Spring onion, 1 cup finely chopped bacon, 5-6 black olives, 5-6 cherry tomatoes, parsley, lime juice and mint. Sounds like a delicious combination, right? 

I soaked the couscous in boiling water, along with the finely chopped spring onion, 1 teaspoon of paprika, a little chopped garlic, salt, pepper and a few finely ground fennel seeds. It takes around 10 minutes to become nice and fluffy and in the meantime I fried the finely chopped bacon until it was toasted and crispy.

I added the bacon to the couscous mix, along with the cheese curd or ricotta, the herbs and also the juice of half a lime. I stirred everything well and turned my attention to the blossoms, which need one little thing doing. Very important with the prep-work is that you must remember to remove the stamen from the flower... no one wants that!

Spoon the mixture into the flowers and press into shape- then drizzle lightly with olive oil and bake in a hot, pre-heated over, at around 250°F for 7-8 minutes, then flip them gently over and continue baking under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until everything is lovely and brown!

I enjoyed mine warm, but they taste just as wonderful eaten cold as a salad... and as a good friend of mine is accustomed to saying, "it's all good!"

Hope you enjoy it!

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