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Gentle sautéing brings out the delightful peppery flavor of fresh zucchini flowers. In this simple preparation, the tender blossoms are filled with a sheep’s milk cheese, then accented with a refreshing tomato-mint sauce. If you like, substitute mozzarella or Fontina for the caciotta or provolone.
- 16 zucchini flowers, slightly closed
- 4 ounces caciotta or provolone cheese, rind removed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sunflower or safflower oil
- For Sauce:
- 1 cup quick tomato sauce
- 2 large fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced, or 1/8 teaspoon dried mint
Companion recipe: Quick Tomato Sauce
Trim off the long stems from the flowers and carefully spread apart the petals slightly. Cut the cheese into 16 rectangles 1/2 inch wide by 1/2 inch thick by 1 inch long, or long enough to fit snugly inside the flowers. Insert 1 piece of cheese into each flower and close the petals over the cheese.
Spread the flour on a plate. Gently roll each flower in the flour, carefully turning to coat lightly but evenly. Transfer to a plate.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. When hot, add the stuffed flowers in a single layer and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Using 2 forks, carefully turn over the flowers and sauté until barely golden brown on the edges and the cheese has begun to melt, 1-2 minutes longer. The flowers should remain soft.
FOR SAUCE: In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the tomato sauce to a simmer. Add the mint and simmer for 1 minute longer.
Using 2 forks, remove the flowers from the pan, draining any excess oil. Transfer to warmed individual plates, arranging 4 flowers on each plate with the stem ends toward the center. Spoon the tomato-mint sauce only over the stem end of each flower. Serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
290 calories; 22g total fat; 20mg cholesterol; 621mg sodium; 15g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 11g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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