Saturday, 28 February 2015

A Beautiful Bouquet!

Fiori di Zucca Ripiene di Patate, Camembert & Menta & Salsa Semplice di Pomodorini
Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Potato, Camembert & Mint with a Simple Cherry Tomato Salsa


Zucchini blossoms- I can never resist them! I think it is the contrarian in me that likes them- simply because they are not something that most people out there buy or prepare... they are kind-of like a red rag to a bull when I am at the market!

But then... the question is always- what to stuff them with? There are the traditional fillings, such as anchovy and Mozzarella- mmm! Or I have made them stuffed with couscous, rice or grains before... but this evening, I decided to try something new! Which is hardly something new for me- haha!


The last time I made a dish using zucchini blossoms, I filled them with Camembert cheese and transformed them into a frittata- which ended up being one of the best dishes I have made with them so far. I love the way the flavors harmonize so well together! And so, this evening, I decided to use it again- in a new way!


It didn't take much to transform these beautiful blossoms into equally delicious ones... as you can see. I decided to use a few potatoes, some Camembert cheese, cherry tomatoes, Spring onion, mint, parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg and good olive oil.

How much of each will depend on how many blossoms you have, how large they are, how large the potatoes are... etc... So I am not going to go there! You know that's not the way I write my recipes anyway- they are more guidelines for you than rules... but just follow the pictures and comments and you will see it is all really easy and will be no problem at all!


 The simple tomato salsa was more of an afterthought to add some fruitiness and contrast- and was equally quick and easy to make! This is a fun dish that is tasty, elegant, quick, inexpensive and easy... need I say more? Shall we just get started? Hehe!


To make the filling, simply boil and mash the potatoes and whilst they are still hot, add some finely chopped Spring onion, mint and parsley, season with salt, pepper and plenty of nutmeg and stir together well. The heat of the potatoes will "cook" the onion sufficiently and the herbs and nutmeg will infuse them with rich flavor right from the beginning.

Be sure to not add any butter, milk or any other kind of liquid! Once the cheese is added- and especially once it melts in the oven, that filling will become very soft and you run the risk of it oozing out.


Stir together thoroughly and taste to make sure you have enough salt- potatoes do need their seasoning!


Once the mash has cooled considerably, add the finely dice Camembert and mix it in well... and there you have it- your filling all ready to go!

Now you can turn on your oven to get it ready!


Snap the stamens out of each blossom and then give them a quick rinse and a shake dry, then proceed to spoon in the potato filling.

Add around 2 teaspoons of filling to each blossom- no more! As I already mentioned- they will soften up at first and excess filling will ooze out otherwise!

Drizzle them slightly with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and bake at 180°C for 10 minutes or so- then carefully turn them over and bake for 10 minutes more.

In the meantime you can make that tomato salsa!

Simply fry the finely chopped cherry tomatoes with the rest of the Spring onions, the mint and parsley, again with a simple seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg, in a little olive oil.


After 5 minutes or so, it will have cooked down considerably- time to add a pinch of sugar and then to deglaze the saucepan with a little boiling water.

Add enough water to just cover the tomatoes and reduce to a low simmer... and let the sauce continue reducing until the zucchini blossoms are finished- another 5-10 minutes.


Turn on the broiler for the last 5 minutes of baking and then allow the blossoms to cool a little- for 2 good reasons. 1.) because they will be so incredibly hot that you will get 3rd degree burns if you try to eat them and 2.) because they will become a little firmer and easier to handle. Like I said- 2 good reasons!


They ARE very soft and delicate... but you will see- they ARE also absolutely delicious! And together with the simple yet tangy salsa they are not simply and eye-catcher but also an excellent combination!

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