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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rice Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

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rice stuffed zucchini

 

This part III of my ode to zucchini. After sharing my open face sandwiches and my zucchini blossom quinoa salad, I saved the best for last. I saw this recipe a long time ago, on a travel show on Greece. Zucchini blossoms were filled with rice and herbs, then simmered in olive oil. Sounded so delicious, and it really is.

So far this is my favourite way to eat these delicate blossoms. The olive oil permeates the little pockets of rice with so much flavour and silkiness and the soft and delicate zucchini petals make the perfect wrap for them. Use your best olive oil here.

These are meant to be eaten at room temperature or even cold, preferably with a cold glass of white wine (AlbariƱo is wonderful). I’ll be making those again next season, and I hope you will too!

 

Rice Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms Recipe:

I only used a handful of blossoms for this recipe, but you can scale the recipe to make more. The only thing to keep in mind is that they must fit snuggly in one layer on whatever size pan you decide to use (just like the photo at the end of this post).

You will need:

6-7 large zucchini blossoms

1/4 cup uncooked white rice

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

1  teaspoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon chopped dill

2 tablespoons chopped zucchini

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup water

 

Carefully clean the blossoms by removing the internal pistil and blowing out the pollen. Try not to tear the blossoms.

In a medium bowl, mix together rice, shallot, garlic, dill and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Mix well.

Use a small spoon to fill each blossom with the rice mixture. Fold the leaves in order to close the blossoms and place them, fold side down, on a pan or skillet large enough just to hold them tightly in a single layer. 

Pour the water and the remaining olive oil in the pan.

Bring it to a boil, turn down the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until rice is cooked, about 20-25 minutes.

Transfer the blossoms to a serving plate and let it cool before serving at room temperature.

Enjoy!

rice stuffed blossoms

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Zucchini Blossom Quinoa Salad

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zucchini blossom quinoa salad


The blossom fest continues… After I shared with you my open face sandwiches, I now present my new favourite quinoa salad. The softness of the blossoms contrast with the crunch from the carrots and the zucchinis. I love making quinoa salads as they make great left overs for lunch, but on this case I would recommend serving it right away while the blossoms are fresh.



Zucchini Blossom Quinoa Salad Recipe:


If you don’t like chopping, try shredding the vegetables. Tomatoes can be added too, seeded and cut into small cubes. If you like cheese, some good feta would also be a nice addition to the salad.



You will need:


1 cup coked quinoa *


1/2 cup chopped carrots


1 cup chooped zucchini


1/2 cup basil leaves, sliced or hand thorn


2 tablespoons chopped parsley


20 zucchini blossoms, cleaned and cut into stripes


1 teaspoon lemon zest


For the dressing:


4 tablespoons olive oil


2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice


1/2 teaspoon honey


1/4 cup chopped shallots


1 tablespoon chopped garlic


Salt and pepper to taste



Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Make the dressing by putting all ingredients in a jar, close it and shake well. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.


Enjoy!


* To cook quinoa, bring 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water to a boil. Reduce the heat, close the lid and simmer until all water is absorbed and quinoa has plumped up. Fluffy it with a fork. Cooked quinoa can be frozen in small portions in the freezer.