Friday, 6 September 2013

Courgette flowers - Welcome home.


I'm home at last and I can't think of a nicer way to be welcomed back than a plastic bag full of courgette flowers left on the doorstep.  Unfortunately they don't stay looking this good for long so I had to drag myself out of bed and get cooking.  Usually the flowers are stuffed with savoury rice, dipped in egg and flour and then deep fried but I fancied something a bit lighter so decided to bake them with a cheese filling.  For a plateful of flowers take one red onion and 4 cloves of garlic and chop as finely as you can. Mix with a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar and then leave for at least an hour to "cook". This process softens the onion and draws out the bitter juice, leaving you with onion that doesn't need frying. After the hour is up, rub the onions with your fingers to soften them a bit more, then empty into a sieve and rinse with fresh water, shaking to remove as much moisture as possible.  Blitz one slice of bread into crumbs, chop a handful of basil and crumble 100g of white cheese into a bowl, add the onion mixture and 1 dessertspoon of olive oil. Mix it all together and check for seasoning.  The cheese is quite salty so I didn't need to add any more salt.  If I'd had some pine nuts  I would have toasted these and thrown them in too, or a handful of walnuts.


Next comes the fiddly bit.  Open each flower and shake upside down to get rid of any insects (washing ruins the flowers).  I started using a teaspoon to fill the cavity but after a few, found it was easier to roll the filling into a little ball and then push it in.  Fold the petals over the top to seal. 


Lightly oil a clay dish and arrange all the flowers in a single layer. Brush each with olive oil, gently pour half a cup of boiling water into the dish to provide steam and cover tightly with foil  and bake in a preheated 170 C oven for 30 to 40 minutes, taking the foil off for the last 10 minutes.


They hold their shape well and would make a pretty addition to a canapé tray but we had ours with a dollop of yogurt and some stuffed peppers. 


It's obvious I've been cooking fancy food for the past couple of months isn't it.  I'll be back to the homely favourites and one-dish wonders as soon as I've unpacked my suitcase and settled back into village life. 

26 comments:

  1. B to B, Welcome home and thanks for the recipe. I confess i've never made courgette flowers but I'm warming up to the idea. I wanted to know if it was you who posted a recipe for pickled hamsi. It's fishing season and my husband is champing at the bit to try as many fish recipes as possible. Once again, welcome home.

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    1. http://backtobodrum.blogspot.com/2013/02/fishy-fingers.html This was the hamsi recipe page - you may have to find it on the side bar under Feb 2013. I'm very glad to be home

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  2. This comes at just the right moment...I've a load of squash flowers hat need using and some white cheese....off we go!

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    1. I wonder if squash flowers are tougher than courgette flowers? You may have to cook for a bit longer - or is a courgette just a small squash?

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    2. They were a littler thicker...but cooked in the same time...
      I've no idea what variety they are but the fruit resembles cannonballs and the plants are invading the roof.

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  3. . . welcome home, Petal - nice pictures!

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  4. Welcome home from your Greek sojourn. What a trip!

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  5. I've avoided stuffing courgette flowers because I'm a bit heavy handed and thought it would be a disaster, but this recipe sounds so nice, I might give it a go x

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    1. I've got podgy fingers but manage not to rip too many.

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  6. Looks yummy Annie - couldn't we open a restaurant together? You do the savoury and I'll do the sweet!! Kath x

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  7. That looks like a beautiful dish...though I've missed the courgette flowers this year and am desperately trying to think of lots of interesting things to do with the vegetable itself! Welcome home - more recipes like this gratefully received! (If you feel like it, of course. Maybe you want a change of topic for a while.)

    Axxx

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    1. Thick slices, brushed with olive oil and salt, baked in a hot oven and served with minted yogurt.

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  8. Hosgeldin!! Lovely to have you back, and these courgette flowers look like a delicious welcome, greatly miss them, enjoy a few for me too please :) Ozlem

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    1. I'm sure there are plenty in a garden near you. I was surprised when I was in England that the flowers weren't eaten

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  9. Beautiful food :-) I recently found stuffed flowers on the menu in Sirince and was delighted! This recipe looks delicious - I only wish I had the patience...

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    1. It doesn't take long once you've got going.

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  10. I love these stuffed flowers and yours look very yummy. I never see these flowers anywhere in any of the markets here....I know Italians stuff them but they don't seem to sell any in their veggie markets when I go to the sections of lil' Italy in the city here.

    My sister in law Muge makes them with rice but yours look delicious with cheese...thanks for sharing. :-)

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  11. I think I'd have groaned if I found a big bag of these flowers on my doorstep my very first day back!!!! But your recipe looks great and as you say, a much lighter one than the other. Yes, welcome back!!

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    1. There were so fresh and beautiful, I was very pleased to see them.

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  12. Yum! That looks and sounds so exotic. Your lucky clients must have been extremely well-fed. :-)

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    1. Unfortunately I couldn't find any flowers this fresh in Greece.

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  13. Dear Annie, I didn't even know what a courgette flower was although I did think the blooms looked familiar. I so like zucchini and now I'm wondering what those blossoms taste like. Your recipe sounds delicious. Peace.

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