Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

21 Aug

I cook with squash practically every week but I’ve never had the chance to experiment with the actual flower that is produced by the plant. If I didn’t know any better, I would have just assumed that it wasn’t even edible. So if you grow your own zucchini, don’t throw away the blossoms! Instead, pick them first thing in the morning in order to get the blossoms nicely open and wash them very carefully to remove any bugs.  Dry and wrap them in a damp paper towel and keep cool until ready to use. I actually do not grow my own zucchini, or any other vegetable and herb, since I have the blackest thumb you can imagine, but I purchased the squash blossoms as part of the CSA-style seasonal vegetable and herb package from Gilt Taste and I couldn’t wait to stuff and cook them!

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Blossom Ingredients

1 cup fresh bread crumbs (1-2 slices of bread)

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 scallion

1 Tbsp margarine

1 tsp fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp fresh mint, chopped

freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper

8-10 zucchini blossoms

extra-virgin olive oil

I used whole wheat bread since that’s what I had in my fridge, but you can use whatever bread you prefer. I crumbled the bread in to coarse crumbs and thinly sliced the scallion. Next, I heated the margarine in a small pan and sauteed the crumbs and scallion until the bread was nicely brown and the green onion was soft.

I chopped up the fragrant basil and mint, also from the CSA-style package, then added to the crumb mixture.

Next, I added the cooked quinoa and salt and pepper to taste. Then I let the mixture cool completely.

Before stuffing the blossoms, I used a small spoon to remove and discard the stamens from the center of each flower. I also brushed a baking pan with olive oil and set it aside. I carefully added the quinoa mixture, making sure not to rip the delicate leaves, then closed the ends so the stuffing would not fall out. Then I placed the stuffed blossoms in the pan and brushed the tops with more oil. It’s okay if your leaves rip along the sides, just be careful when stuffing the blossoms so the quinoa doesn’t fall out.

I baked the blossoms for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, until crisp and a bit brown in spots. You can serve them hot or room temperature, but I prefer to eat them right out of the oven. Since the flower is so delicate, I suggest cooking them as close to service as possible since they will get mushy. But if you want to reheat them, just don’t cover them in the oven and they will still be flavorful and delicious. Your guests will be so impressed!

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