Squash blossoms and herbs
No more complaining about too many zucchini. Pick the flowers to prevent zucchini squash overload.
Today’s harvest basket is loaded with big yellow flowers, blooms from the zucchini plant.
Fragile and short-lived squash blossoms are pricey, if you can find them at the farmers market. Any kind of squash can be used in this gourmet dish.
Add the flowers to pasta primavera, salads or omelets. Fried squash blossoms are a big restaurant hit. My favorite is baked, stuffed squash blossoms.
There is a monster squash plant in my garden.
By monster I mean, it has completely taken over the 4 ft. x 4 ft. raised bed and is creeping out several feet on all sides of the bed. It is a squash blossom factory.
The monster sized squash plant is a volunteer plant that I don’t recognize from any seed catalog. The new 4×4 raised bed is filled with lots of compost, garden waste and kitchen scraps that I’ve added since last fall. This spring, the monster squash plant appeared.
I have well-behaved zucchini plants growing in containers on the deck. The monster squash plant’s only purpose is to produce flowers. I don’t want more zucchini squash, for heaven’s sake.
Pick flowers in the morning. Rinse and hold in cool water until time to prepare. Freshly picked flowers will stay fresh for a couple of days when wrapped in damp paper towels stored in the refrigerator.
The only purpose of this squash plant is to produce blossoms. I did not grow this zucchini for squash. Collect blooms every day or two.
Oven Roasted Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Yield: Serves 4
- 12 zucchini blossoms, center pistil or stamens removed
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh herbs (such as parsley, basil, thyme, mint)
- 2 tablespoons pepitas and/or sunflower seeds
- ½ cup ricotta
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper (optional)
- olive oil, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Gently remove the stamen from the center of the flowers.
- Combine the ricotta, herbs, pepitas, sunflower seeds and egg together. Season with salt and pepper (optional).
- Carefully open the blossoms and stuff with the 1-2 teaspoons of ricotta mixture per flower depending on the size of the flower. Gently twist the flower at the end to enclose the filling.Lay stuffed zucchini flowers on prepared sheet pan or baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 25 or 30 minutes, or until the baby squash is tender-crisp and blossom starts to brown on bottom.
Suggestions. Add 1 Tablespoon garlic pesto or any pesto to ricotta mixture instead of chopped herbs. Serve warm squash blossoms with pasta sauce on the side for dipping.
I grow zucchini from seed in containers. Container Zucchini Astia from Renee’s Garden. Serve roasted, sautéed, grilled or baked.