Given the abundance of zucchini being harvested in the garden over the last couple of weeks, it is timely that Patrisha passed on this great recipe that she found in the Globe & Mail which calls for zucchini and zucchini flowers. While male zucchini flowers are often used in recipes, both the male and female blossoms are edible and easy to differentiate. Male flowers (which tend to be more common in a new zucchini plant) can usually be found growing directly on a thin, long stalk of the plant while the female flowers are found on shorter stems with an emergent or small fruit at the base. One good way to control over-abundance of zucchini in your garden is to harvest the flowers, particularly the female blossoms which produce the fruit on the vine. Another popular way to prepare the blossoms is to fry them but before eating the stamens should be removed from male flowers and the pistils from female flowers. In the following photo, the female flower is the one on top and the male blossom is underneath:
From the Globe & Mail/Chef David Lee
Pasta with Zucchini and Zucchini Flowers
While I haven¹t had any zucchini in Canada that quite compares to the
zucchini I had in Italy, the baby zucchini available at farmers¹ markets
this time of year do work well in this recipe. This recipe serves 2 people
as an appetizer.
6 ounces fresh fettuccine or dried spaghetti cooked al dente
12 baby zucchini with flower, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped finely
1/2 clove garlic thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 ounce butter
salt and pepper to taste
1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
2. Warm enough olive oil to amply cover the bottom of a large lidded sauté
pan over medium-low heat. Add shallot and, with the lid on, sweat them off
(cook until translucent but not brown), stirring occasionally.
3. Add the zucchini rounds and, with the lid off, cook until somewhat soft,
approximately 6 minutes, flipping the rounds halfway through.
4. Add the butter and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to the pan, stir it in
and turn up the heat to medium to let it thicken into sauce.
5. When the salted water comes to a boil, and while the sauce is thickening,
add the fettuccine to the pot and cook until it is al dente, according to
the instructions on the package. It will not take long.
6. Once the fettuccine is cooking, add the zucchini flowers and a tablespoon
or two of the pasta water to the sauce, and give it a stir. Season to taste.
7. Drain the pasta cooked, incorporate it into the sauce, and serve
8. Fall in love.
Find the recipe online at the Globe & Mail here.