01 July, 2009

I got some flowers



No, no, it's not my birthday, yet. In a month. Who knows if I'll get any flowers? It's my garden instead, that made me happy yesterday morning. I found my two zucchini plants all in bloom and couldn't resist, picked them up: 5 males and 1 female that was attached to a beutiful little zucchini, so I picked that up as well.
When I published my recipe for Saffron Zucchini Risotto, many of my readers found use of flowers in dishes quite curious, so I thought I'd give you some more information.
Zucchini flowers are rich in Vitamin A, and have diuretic and refreshing properties.
100 g of zucchini flowers have only 12 calories, of course, if cooked without adding fats, steamed, or added to salads and pasta dishes. But... who can resist the ones dipped into tempura batter and fried?

As I said before, there are two types of flowers (I learned that only recently), male and female. Female flowers are slightly smaller and you can recognize them because they are attached to the zucchini. Both can be used for cooking.
The recipe I'm presenting to you today, comes from a collection of LIGHT recipes. It contains 180 calories per serving. I served these flowers as a side dish yesterday, and completed the meal with some grilled meat. I didn't make my own Béchamel sauce, because for some strange reason I like this particular brand of ready Béchamel sauce (like the cream that I use) that has vegetable base and low collesterol level. I particularly like it because it's more liquid than homemade sauce.
I halved the recipe, because I had only 6 flowers, and because there were three of us eating it, kids of course wouldn't touch something so "yikes".

RICOTTA FILLED ZUCCHINI FLOWERS

6 zucchini flowers
1 zucchini
125 g ricotta
25 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tomatoes
1 clove garlic
marjoram and basil leaves
salt, pepper
Extravirgin olive oil

(for home made Béchamel sauce)
25 g flour
250 ml low fat milk
15 g butter
10 g grated Parmigiano

Here's the recipe for Béchamel, although I didn't use it.
Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and toast it for 2 minutes. Pour in cold milk whisking. Cook for 7-8 minutes stirring continuously. In the end add grated Parmigiano, salt and pepper.

Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut them into thin slices lengthwise (you can use your mandoline), and then into matchsticks.
Warm 1 tblspoon of Extravirgin olive oil in a skillet with garlic, add zucchini and stirfry for a minute of two. Throw the garlic away.
Mix ricotta with grated Parmigiano, add zucchini and minced marjoram leaves. Add salt and pepper to your taste.


Wash and patdry the flowers (remove the pistils, they are bitter)and fill them with the ricotta mixture. Close the flowers making them stick to the filling.

Put some Béchamel sauce on the bottom of a baking dish and place the flowers on one end. I also turned them a couple of times so they would get coated in sauce.
Wash and dice the tomatoes, remove seeds and let them drain a bit. Place the diced tomatoes on the opposite side of the baking dish.

Sprinkle some Parmigiano on top and bake in an oven preheated to 200°C for 15 minutes. Add basil leaves to the tomatoes before serving
Don't they look elegant?




I'm sending this over to Betty for her Dinner Invitation collection of recipes.

PUNJENI CVJETOVI TIKVICE

(recept sam prepolovila, ovo je za 3 osobe)

6 cvjetova tikvice
1 tikvica
125 g dobro iscijeđenog svježeg sira
1 režanj češnjaka
20 g naribanog parmezana (Parmigiano Reggiano)
2 rajčice
maslinovo ulje
sol, papar
listovi bosiljka i mažurana

Ja sam koristila gotovi bešamel, ali ako ga želite sami pripremiti, ovo je recept:
25 g brašna
15 g maslaca
250 ml mlijeka
10 g naribanog parmezana (Parmigiano Reggiano)

Za bešamel, otopite maslac i na njemu popržite brašno (2 minute). Dodajte hladno mlijeko miješajući ručnom žicom. Nastavite kuhati 7-8 minuta neprestano miješajući. Dodajte parmezan, sol i papar po ukusu.

Tikvice operite i osušite, odrežite im krajeve. Prvo ih narežite na tanke ploške po dužiti (ja sam ih narezala ribežom za kupus), a onda na štapiće. Zagrijte 1 žlicu ulja u tavi s češnjakom, pa dodajte tikvice i popržite 1-2 minute da omekšaju.
Pomiješajte sir s naribanim parmezanom, dodajte tikvice, posolite i popaprite.
Cvjetove operite, izvadite tučak i osušite ih nježno tapkajući kuhinjskim papirom.
Napunite cvjetove pripremljenim sirom.
Ulijte bešamel umak u posudu za pečenje, i složite napunjene cvjetove na jednu stranu. Ja sam im okrenula par puta da budu sa svih strana umočeni u bešamel.
Rajčice operite i narežite na kockice. Odstranite po mogućnosti sjemenke i malo ih ocijedite. Rasporedite ih nasuprot punjenih cvjetova.
Pospite s malo parmezana i pecite 15 minuta u pećnici zagrijanoj na 200°C.



FIORI DI ZUCCA ALLA RICOTTA

Fiori di zucca sono ricchi di vitamina A, diuretici, rinfrescanti e con solo 12 calorie per 100 g, se cucinati senza grassi a crudo, in insalata, al vapore e nel condimento della pasta, ma... chi non sa che amano immergersi nella pastella e tuffarsi in padella.
Quella che vi propongo, è una ricetta LIGHT, con solo 180 calorie per porzione che io ho accompagnato con la carne grigliata per un pasto completo.

Con questa ricetta partecipo alla cena di Betty. Visitate il suo blog e magari partecipate anche voi.
INVITO A CENA: LA RACCOLTA!


(Ho dimezzato la ricetta perché le mie due piante mi hanno regalato solo 6 fiori, e poi, ho usato la besciamella pronta, ma vi darò anche la ricetta se volete prepararla da soli).

6 fiori di zucca
1 zucchina
125 g ricotta
un spicchio d'aglio
2 pomodori
foglie di majorana e basilico
sale e pepe
20 g Parmigiano grattugiato

Besciamella
25 g farina
15 g burro
250 ml latte scremato
10 g Parmigiano grattugiato

Per besciamella, fatte scioglere il burro in una casseruola, unite la farina e fatela tostare per 2 minuti. Versate il latte freddo, mescolando con una frusta. Proseguite la cottura per 7-8 minuti, mescolando sempre. Aggiungete alla besciamella10 g di parmigiano grattugiato, sale e pepe.
Spuntate le zucchine, lavatele, tagliate a strisce di 2-3 mm di spessore, nel senso della lunghezza, con un pelapatate.
Riducete le strisce a fiammifero. Scaldate un cucchiaio di olio con lo spicchio d’aglio spellato, rosolate le zucchine per uno o due minuti e poi eliminate l’aglio.
Montate la ricotta con 50 g di parmigiano. Unite le zucchine preparate, le foglioline di maggiorana tritate, regolate di sale e pepe e mescolate.
Riempite i fiori di zucca lavati con il composto preparato.
Versate la besciamella nella pirofila. Disponete i fiori di zucca farciti in fila su un lato della pirofila e fateli sprofondare nella salsa.
Posizionate i pomodori (privati di semi e tagliati a dadini) sull'altro lato.
Spolverizzate con il parmigiano grattugiato e cuocete in forno già caldo a 200°C per 15 minuti.
Profumate i pomodori con il basilico spezzettato e servite.

21 comments:

  1. Buongiorno!

    Un piatto delizioso, solare, mi piace moltissimo!

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  2. grazie Dajana per questa ricetta, è meravigliosa va benissimo direi.
    un abbraccio.

    P.s. puoi partecipare con più ricette.

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  3. Da qui al 30 Settembre sicuramente avrò qualcos'altro da aggiungere. Ciao, Betty.

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  4. What a delightful use of those flowers. Such a delicious ingredient.

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  5. Great post! They looks so beautiful and I'm definitely going to try it! I have a few questions. Why did you put the tomatoes opposite the flowers instead of over them? Also, do you think pancetta or prosciutto (or even speck!) can be sauteed and then added to the ricotta mixture? Just an idea.

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  6. No special reason, Michele, I followed the recipe, I think it was more for the visual, you know to have colour contrasts, or whatever. No reason why you shouldn't put them over the flowers.
    I guess you can add anything else, though I wouldn't sautee prosciutto or speck, they't get too salty, pancetta yes, to lose some of the fat. But I liked them just plain like this. Next time I might add something else.

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  7. Looks great, if somewhat ... different than what I'm used to. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on some and try them out.

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  8. Eric, I tried them for the first time this year, and I was positively surprised.

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  9. Ive always wanted to try these! This recipe looks great!

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  10. what a great post you used the whole plant, impressive

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  11. Bellissimi!!! sabato avevo tantissimi fiori e non sapevo più come farli, adesso lo so. Grazie.
    Baci

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  12. Awesome Dajana! Thanks for all the great info, too!

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  13. now i'm really kicking myself in the butt for not being able to plant my garden this year. I would've loved to have been able to try this recipe!! It looks great and of course anything with ricotta is all good!

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  14. Using the zucchini flowers really intrigues me! Your recipe looks beautiful and delicious.

    I would love to check out the Chocolate and Zucchini blog you mentioned.

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  15. Gustosissima ricetta,una versione inedita per me,te la copio!

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  16. Grazie, Solem e Nanny, spero che vi piacerà.

    Kim, you can see the blog I mentioned on the right, on my blog list.

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  17. The zucchini flowers gratin makes my mouth water...haven't seen zucchini flowers here in Germany...strange, I wonder what happened to those flowers since now it's just in season.

    Angie's Recipes

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  18. Hi I have an award for you on my blog LOL

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  19. Buon Giorno from USA! I found and logged on....I love your zucchini recipes. I hope you come over to visit my blog where I have the traditional way that my Italian family prepares zucchini blossoms. My family is from the Modena area. I added your blog to follow and put you on my sidebar and subscribed. It would be my pleasure for you to visit and follow me. Also, do you Twitter? There are a lot of great Italians and Italian-Americans that follow each other! Buon Appetito Amica! Roz (bella)

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