P: Tu vas où ?
Moi : Au marché. A plus tard !
P.: Where are you going?
Me: To the market, see you later!
There were about ten or twelve white tents easily visible from the traffic light where I stopped. I could see them more clearly as I drove closer, and I was eager to park as quickly as possible. 12.00 pm. It was already late and I knew that the market would end within two hours. I was afraid that all the vegetables would be gone, so I rushed to get there. I spotted them almost right away. From the distance, they almost looked like a nice large bunch of jonquilles (daffodils). But they were not. The stand where I found them at the farmers’ market that morning did not have much to offer, but enough to surprise me. Run by two Asian-looking men looking fairly shy for being at a market, I found everything that other farmers did not have. My smile said it all. Between the different kinds of greens they had, pea tendrils, Thai basil, it was impossible to miss the patch of bright yellow in the corner of the stand. Chouette alors! Des fleurs de courgette !. (Cool, zucchini flowers!) I did not think twice. At $2 the bunch of 8, I refrained from buying more since I knew they would not keep. As a matter of fact, I would only have a few hours to think about what to do with them. We had initially planned to go out for dinner, but now that I had zucchini flowers in my hands, the evening would somewhat be different.
Moi : Changement de plan. Ce soir, on mange à la maison
P : Pourquoi ?
M. : Les fleurs de courgette ne se garderont pas jusqu’à demain.
Me : Change of plan. Tonight, we eat at home.
P : Why?
M. : Zucchini flowers won’t keep until tomorrow.
And I was thrilled. I had never cooked them before, although I had meant to many times.
It is certainly the time of year to find them. Fanny, Lucy, Ms Glaze or Dianka are all presenting great ideas to eat Flower Zucchinis.
I did not have to think much. In my head, I already knew that I was going to include ricotta to sautéed vegetables, which is a stuffing I particularly like. Simple but surely aromatic.
Fleurs de courgette — Zucchini Flowers
I am not sure about the extent by which people use them here in the US, but I know that in France, these flowers are commonly eaten in the South, where they are une spécialité (a speciality). Un plat du Sud? (a dish from the South?) Perhaps. At least this is a common belief, as recently told to me by a French woman coming from the South, now living in the Boston area. In fact, it could simply be explained from the fact that courgettes were initially mainly cultivated year round in the South. I never really ate fleurs de courgette while growing up and was therefore not too familiar with them. I know that one typical way to prepare them is to use a batter in which they are dipped before being deep-fried. They become des beignets de fleurs de courgette. But what to do when you do not want to deep fry your food, or make a mess in the kitchen? Imagine something else then. I actually preferred to bake them and decided to make a shortcut version of ratatouille mixed with ricotta. It was seasonal after all.
Not the nicest looking dish all things considered, but to be honest, I love how they looked on our plates. Every five minutes or so, I could not help but stick my nose into the oven to check what was happening to my fleurs. What shape were they going to have? Would they cook easily? The flowers obviously changed in shape and color. What did I do to those beautiful petals?
I served them with steamed couscous and a green salad brought from the market as well. We agreed that they would be the perfect small appetizer too, 2 flowers per person as an example.
- 8 zucchini flowers
- 1 small green zucchini
- 1/2 small Italian eggplant
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1 inch fresh ginger root
- 2 garlic cloves
- 11 oz cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 6 to 7 sage leaves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped
- 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- 3/4 to 1 cup ricotta
- Make a cross on each tomato with a knife and boil them for 30s.
- Rinse them under cold water, peel them and remove the seeds. Dice them roughly, to the size of brunoise vegetables. Keep them on the side.
- Chop the onion, garlic and ginger thinly.
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a sautée pan and cook for 4 mns, until softer.
- Dice the eggplant, pepper and zucchini (brunoise again). Add the vegetables to the pan in this order: eggplant, pepper and then zucchini. Cook 2 to 3 mns for each added vegetable.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 to 15 mns, on low heat, uncovered. Season with salt and pepper. About 1 mn before the end, add the chopped herbs. Remove from the heat.
- Mix the ricotta with the cooked vegetables. (Make sure the stuffing is nor too liquidy, nor too thick. If you want, you can also add one beaten egg.)
- Remove the stamen inside the flowers carefully and stuff each flower with the ricotta/vegetable preparation.
- Place the flowers in an oven dish and season with salt and pepper.
- Add a splash of olive oil and place in a preheated oven at 400 F, for 20 mns.
- 8 fleurs de courgette
- 1 petite courgette verte
- 1/2 petite aubergine
- 1/2 oignon jaune
- 1/2 poivron rouge
- 2,5 cm de racine de gingembre frais
- 2 gousses d’ail
- 300 g tomates cerises
- Sel et poivre
- Huile d’olive
- 6 à 7 feuilles de sauge
- 1 càs d’estragon haché
- 1 càs de persil, haché
- 100 g de ricotta
- Faites une croix sur chaque tomate avec un couteau et ébouillantez-les pendant 30s.
- Rinsez-les sous l’eau froide, pelez-les et épépinnez-les. Coupez-les en petits dés, de la taille d’une brunoise. Mettez-les de côté.
- Hachez l’oignon, l’ail et le gingembre.
- Faites chauffer 2 càs d’huile d’olive dans une sauteuse et cuisez l’oignon/ail/gingembre pendant 4 mns, sans brunir.
- Détaillez l’aubergine, la courgette et le poivron en petits dés, de la taille d’une brunoise. Ajoutez les légumes dans cet ordre : aubergine, poivron et courgette. Cuisez 2 à 3 mns à chaque légume ajouté.
- Ajoutez les tomates et cuisez le tout 10 à 15 mns, à feu doux à découvert. Assaisonnez avec du sel et du poivre. Environ 1 mn avant la fin, ajoutez les herbes hachées. Retirez du feu.
- Mélangez la ricotta aux légumes cuits. (Assurez-vous que votre farce n’est ni trop liquide ni trop solide. Vous pouvez aussi ajouter un oeuf battu.)
- Retirez délicatement le pistil à l’intérieur des fleurs et farcissez chaque fleur.
- Placez-les dans un plat allant au four, et salez et poivrez.
- Arrosez-les d’un filet d’huile d’olive et placez le plat dans un four préchauffé à 200 C pendant environ 20 mns.
Salut Bea! C’est bien comment tu as fait des fleurs de courgettes. J’espere que tu as mange d’autres choses car il n’y a pas beaucoup a manger comme plat principal 🙂 Autant que je sache, on les frie a Naples comme antipasti. Moi, j’aime bien ajouter du cumin a la pate. (Je ne sais pas comment faire des accents…desole).
Excellent photos and beautiful recipe, Bea! Thank you for brightening my day!
I love these squash blossoms! I just discovered them this summer. This is the first recipe I’ve seen for a baked version – thanks! Looks delicious.
Les fleurs de courgettes farcies, c’est délicieux et il y plein de façon de les farcir. Superbes photos comme toujours.
vairi goude ze courgette flohoueurz!
C’est déjà de la pure poésie de manger des fleurs.. alors les déguster à ta façon et en contemplant tes photos, c’est doble poetry !
Bon sang de bon soir ! 15 jours de vacances m’avaient fait oublier combien tes photos sont renversantes !
Je n’ai encore jamais mangé de fleurs de courgettes mais je ne désespère pas d’en trouver sur le marché.
Another delicious entry, Bea! I haven’t seen courgette flowers here this year. My mum had plenty last year but i didn’t know what to do with them. Such a shame.
I am always awed by your photos. I also love the way they look on your plate. Beautiful that they don’t always end up deep fried.
Fleurs de Courgettes!. The way you are stuffing yours seemes So delicious.It’s amazing, last week, my sister’garden allowed me some photos, from flowers to huge round zucchinis.. for a next post…
I think these flowers are a well-loved secret. I recall my mum cooking them–I can’t remember if they were stuffed or in a curry, but I do remember their taste…
I tried a zucchini flower dish a while ago, but I wan’t thrilled with the flavor. The filling (dill and ricotta) was good, but I thought it would have been better inside pasta, as ravioli or tortelloni. The flowers are pretty, but I dunno… Know what I’m doing wrong?
How very interesting! And as usual lovely photos. 🙂
my favourites! 🙂
I’ve never tried something like this, but it looks wonderful!
that´s genious. I don´t like deep frying, and thought that was the end of zucchini flowers at home for me.
Je n’ai jamais mangé de fleurs de courgette farcie, faut que ça change.
La 2eme photo est magnifique, bravo.
Bonne idee et superbes photos ! il manque le poivron dans la liste des ingredients 😉
Non seulement c’est beau, mais c’est bon. Et la petite touche additionnelle de gingembre est une excellente idee, je n’y aurais jamais pense.
Cuisiner des fleurs, voici qui ressemble à un conte de fées, surtout quand c’est toi qui cuisine… ah, enlever le pistil, les garnir d’une touche de ricotta et de légumes, définitivement pour moi! et ta recette change de celles que je vois souvent avec des fleurs de courgettes sous forme de beignets, faites que je croise rapidement ces petites choses sur mon marché!
vraiment, tes photos sont toujours superbes!!!!!
Oh, I think they look beautiful on your plate!
pretty impressive bea! it would only take your talent to make this! that’s why i alwasy get inspired when i visit your blog! thanks…
quelles belles photos !
et un dialogue sympa.. ttfois comme plat principale , c’est un chouia léger .
Bravo pour ton blog
I never eat zucchini flowers but i think it’s delicious … And yours pictures, beautiful, like always !
ah oui… j’ai achete des fleurs de courgette l’autre jour aussi, mais comme je me ne sentais pas bien, je voulais les faire le lendemain – mauvaise idee. mais j’en ai fait avant, farcis de chevre et frits style tempura – excellent, surtout arrose d’un filet de miel aux truffes!
Thanks all for your comments! Merci à tous pour vos commentaires !
I have to say that I was new to cooking them, and it is very easy. The only precaution to take is to be careful, as they are delicate flowers and break easily.
Beautiful Bea! I’m sure they tasted delicious! I will have to try your recipe next time for sure =)
Thank you so much for this post. I have been longing to cook some for ages, so much so that I am planing some any moment in time for summer. Not an easy thing to buy in these parts . . .
But particularly thanks for giving us a non-fried recipe.
La difficulté ici est de trouver ses fleurs. Peut être au marché couvert à Metz ??
Fantastic! I wonder if we will be able to make some together in March from the zucchini I plan to grow! I truly hope so!
Hi Bea,they are lovely. I made some a while back and everything about the experience was wonderful.One of the recipes I tried was to wrap fish in them. Lovely post – as always! have a lovely weekend.P.s: I remembered that the post might be only in the portuguese version of my blog. Not sure.
Emma, I bet you must be looking forward to summer!
Cocopassions, oui bonne idee!
Bron, I hope we can cook them together indeed!
Valentina, this sounds delicious. I had seen recipes with fish and will def give it a try!
merci beaucoup =)
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