Ricotta and Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
8-10 zucchini flowers
200g ricotta cheese
A handful of grated parmesan
Sea salt and pepper to taste
A lot of people freak out about zucchini flowers because of their delicacy and the preparation involved in cooking with them. An easy rule of thumb is that the older the flowers, the more problematic the preparation. As they age the flowers start to wilt and stick together, shrinking slightly. It follows that they will therefore be more difficult to clean and stuff.
With nice fresh flowers you should be able to gently separate the petals and see a bright yellow stamen inside, which must be removed. All you need to do is flick the stamen with your fingernail and it will detach and can be gently shaken out of the flower. Be gentle because the petals will tear very easily.
Once you've removed the stamens give the flowers and the attached baby zucchini a gentle wipe with a damp paper towel to clean them.
Mix together the ricotta, parmesan, egg and some salt and pepper.
Put the mixture into a ziplock bag and seal the bag, doing your best to remove excess air. You can also use a piping bag and nozzle but I prefer the ziplock method because once you're done you just chuck it straight in the bin. So easy. Cut off one corner of the bag, insert into each zucchini flower and gently pipe in the mixture. Don't pipe all the way to the top or your zucchini flower will pop or leak when you cook it. Once it's full gently press the tops of the petals together and place the flower onto a lined baking tray. Once all the flowers have been done drizzle with olive oil and place in a 190 degree oven and bake for 15-2o minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve on a bed of dressed rocket. Devour.