Well ... what is it? is it a zucchini ... or is it a courgette? It depends on your heritage .
"The etymology of the zucchini vegetable comes from the Italian word zucchino, which literally means a tiny squash or undeveloped marrow. On the contrary, courgette is obviously of French origin. Moreover, Zucchini and courgette are the same plant vegetables but are different terms used depending on the dominant language of a specific country. The first is usually used in territories rich in English, which is Northern American or Australian in nature. The latter is being used for French and British English users, as well as, the English speaking public who resides in New Zealand and South Africa."
Here are Annalisa's tips and recipes with you, and one of Jamie Oliver's Spanish recipes which was a big hit in our homes.
1. Wash (quickly) the flowers in running water, dry them and dip them in a batter of your choice ( Annalisa uses a basting of flour and water + salt. ... I used an egg based batter). Fry them in olive oil for a few minutes until golden, place then on paper to absorb the excess of oil and eat immediately. See pictures attached.
2. Wash quickly the flowers in running water, dry them and place them in a pan with a dribble of olive oil at high temperature. After a minute or two lower the temperature, cover the pot and cook for 5 or 6 more min. Add salt and pepper when serving.
3. Wash quickly the flowers in running water, dry them and stuff them with a cube of cheese ( I used mozzarella on some and a mix of goatsmilk cheese and cottage cheese in the others) ) and a small piece of anchovy. Close them, soak them in a basting of flour, water and salt and fry in a pan with olive oil until golden. Place then on paper to absorb the excess of oil and eat immediately.
Jamie Oliver's Stuffed Zucchini Flowers in Tomato Sauce
A bunch of mixed fresh soft herbs (basil, mint, parsley, chervil);
250g good quality crumbly ricotta;
50g freshly grated parmesan cheese;
salt & pepper;
1 x Lemon;
12 large courgette/zucchini flowers or 16 small ones
10 young courgette/zucchini
500g vine ripened tomatoes
2x cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3x small shallotts (long) peeled and finely chopped
A handful of black olives
crusty bread and salad, to serve
Pick the leaves off your bunches of herbs, finely chop and the stalks. Place in a bowl with the ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg and a little S & P, then finely grate in the zest of your lemon. Mix well with a fork, then have a taste and check the seasoning. Very carefully open the zucchini flowers, snip off the stamens, gently rinse the flowers and carefully fill each one with a generously heaped teaspoon of the ricotta mixture. Carefully press and pat the petals back together to seal in the mixture.
Cut a small cross in the top and bottom of your tomatoes. Plunge them into a bowl of boiling water for a minute or so until the skins blister and come away. Place in cold water until cool enough to handle, then peel the skin off and discard. Cut the flesh into 1cm chunks. In a wide pan, heat a good lug of olive oil on medium heat and fry the garlic and shallots for 3 to 4 minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes and olives and bring to the boil then season with S & P and simmer on a medium heat for 5 minutes, until thickened slightly.
When your sauce is ready, carefully lay your stuffed flowers on top and drizzle with olive oil. Pop the lid on the pan or cover with foil and leave on a low heat to simmer for 15-20mins, until the zucchini are cooked through and the sauce is lovely and thick. Cut your zested lemon in half, squeeze one half onto the sauce and cut the remaining half into wedges to serve.
Tear your crusty bread into chunks and serve on the side for mopping up all the juice.