Stuffed Courgette (Zucchini) Flowers

Until now I’ve only ever come across courgette flowers on my trips to Italy, so when I saw them on an organic veg stall at my local Brockley Market, I just had to buy them and come up with a exciting recipe for them.  I don’t know why they aren’t more readily available in the UK – surely every courgette harvested comes with a flower attached?  It breaks my heart to think that these could be discarded since they aren’t popular or current ‘on trend’ greengrocer fare.    The flower heads were hideously expensive at 4 flowers for £2.  This could be because they were organic and from a farmers market, but since I have no supermarket comparison I can only compare them to how much they cost in Italy (my uncle who lives there was horrified when I said how much I had paid for them!)  Oh well… researching recipes and subsequently cooking with them made me imagine for a milli-second that I was in sunnier Italian climes, and they were blooming (pardon the pun) delicious, so who cares!

I remember having them a couple of times in Italy- stuffed with a mixture of veg and rice, perhaps some cheese, and also on a Biancaneve (all cheese no tomato, it literally translates as ‘Snow White’) based pizza, with anchovies.  In fact I remember this pizza experience so vividly since I absolutely hate anchovies and had no idea they were on the pizza – had taken my chances with a bit of menu spin the bottle – never a good idea.  I tried to pick them all off,  but just ended up with a messy cheese pizza, which still stunk of salty fish.  Ew…

Anyway… For my recipe, I went along with the stuffed idea, but obviously wanted to create something without the rice or cheese.  I therefore and set about to create a pesto inspired pate stuffing, using mushrooms as the bulky filler.  This was a lot of work for a little side dish, but well worth the fun, and of course, the taste.

Ingredients

(makes 4 flowers, can be served as a starter or an accompaniment to a main)

  • 200g Chestnut Mushrooms
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Tablespoon pine nuts
  • large handful of fresh basil leaves (about 40 leaves)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 courgette flowers

Method 

  • Sauté mushrooms in a little olive oil till browned and softened, add pine nuts and saute for a further minute.  Remove from heat.
  • Blend the mushroom/pine nut mix with the basil, garlic, tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice in a food processor and season.
  • Remove the stamens from the flowers.  Gently open the flower and spoon in around a tablespoon of the pate into each flower head, twist the leaves to seal, place on a baking tray and drizzle (I use a spray canister) with olive oil.  

  • Bake in the oven at 160 degrees C for around 20-25 mins.  I kept the temperature low as I didn’t want to burn them.  
I served up 2 for me, as a side dish along with some roasted courgette, kale and plain roasted free-range chicken thighs (also from Brockley Market – they taste out of this world).  The flowers kept well, and I had the rest cold in a lunchbox the following day. 
If there is any mushroom pate mix left over it works great dolloped on a plain chicken breast, or with scrambled eggs for brekkie… 
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4 thoughts on “Stuffed Courgette (Zucchini) Flowers

  1. Pingback: Cheesy Baked Stuffed Tomatoes « PR-avings

  2. Pingback: Courgette Fritters « From the Hobbit Hole Kitchen

  3. Pingback: Chicken Thighs Stuffed with a Mushroom Pesto | Cucina Ceri

  4. Pingback: Slow Cooker Anchovy Lamb Shoulder | Cucina Ceri

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