Saturday, 5 October 2013

Something Slightly Fishy Going On...

Fiori di Zucca Ripiene con Frumento di Bulgur, Acciughe, Uva Secca, Menta & Ricotta Salata
Zucchini Blossoms stuffed with Bulgur Wheat, Anchovies, Raisins, Mint and Salted Ricotta

Of course you are right... usually flowers don't smell of fish, do they? Well these didn't either really, but indeed, anchovies are in that filling! Which is quite a surprise considering this is a dish that I made and ate myself... oh yes- and enjoyed! In fact, I enjoyed these tremendously!

I have just returned from a wonderful week in sunny, sensational Rome- to a rainy, freezing cold Frankfurt! But amazingly, we had these lovely zucchini blossoms on sale at the market hall and they brought back memories of the incredible anchovy and mozzarella-stuffed ones I ate in Rome last wednesday- which were very simple of course- but totally to die for!

So I decided to do something using anchovies too this evening, but without deep-frying the blossoms in batter, which is without a doubt delicious... but also without a doubt, not very healthy either! Also, I wanted to make a little more out of them than an appetizer, so I decided to try out this lovely, brown, cracked bulgur wheat for the main part of the filling... which I put together like this...

For 8 zucchini blossoms I used 4 tablespoons of bulgur... oh, go on then, maybe 5 ;-) I popped these into a bowl and then added enough boiling water to cover it well. I seasoned with just a little salt as I knew the salted ricotta and the salty anchovies would be added soon enough, stirred it through and then added a handful of finely chopped mint and parsley, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. I topped up the water again as it had all been absorbed by now and then let it sit and cool off whilst I prepared the blossoms.

Before filling the blossoms, of course you have to gently open them and remove the pollen-covered stamen from inside- which would not be fun to eat! As soon as the bulgur was fluffy, cooled-off and almost dried-out, it was time to start flavoring it! I added a good handful of ricotta cheese, a handful of raisins and 3 anchovies which I finely chopped and stirred into the mix.

I added a drizzle of olive oil and a little nutmeg, stirred it in well and as soon as it was cool enough, spooned it into the blossoms, using a teaspoon and then pressing it down firmly with my thumb before squeezing them shut.

Once they were all done, I laid them out in a baking dish and as there was a little of the stuffing left over, spooned this in too- waste not, want not and all of that! I then poured boiling water over each of the zucchinis and blossoms, just enough to get each of them nice and moist, then added a squeeze more lemon juice, covered the dish with foil and then baked it in a pre-heated oven at 300°C for around 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes or so, I fetched out the dish, took off the foil and then drizzled the blossoms and zucchinis lightly with olive oil before returning them to the oven, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes regular baking and 2 minutes with the broiler on... and then dinner was served!

This is a great combination, as this dark bulgur has a slightly bitter taste- which when combined with the sweet raisins and salty ricotta and anchovies, blends together into a lovely and balanced mix. The mint and parsley add freshness and the juicy little baby zucchini just taste wonderful anyway! A last sprinkle of salt on top for the zucchini themselves was all it took to make this meal complete- and can you imagine the look on everyones faces when you serve up these? Yeah... they will love them! Oh, but so will you!!!


  1. Wieder ein leckeres Kunstwerk. Die Fotos sind genial.
    Herzliche Grüße, Renate

  2. Dankeschön liebe Renate! Ich freu mich das es Dir gefällt! LG, Francesco