I am proud of myself for preparing this. It is a specialty that has a very short season. You don’t get so many zucchini flowers very often. So I had a go as soon as I spotted them in the organic market near my home. It is actually not too different than doing any dolma.
There are few tips about making the effort worthwhile; if you are picking the zucchini flowers from your garden you have to get up early before they close their flowers. Pick ones that are still orange those that have turned brown will not work as good. You will need about 20+ flowers. If you cannot find this many, consider using onion layers. Which will cook about the same time. Check the stuffed onion recipe for how to prepare the onions.
Do not wash the flowers under flowing water, they are so fragile, they will definitely rip. Put them in a bowl of water and keep there for a while and then take out to drain.
To prepare the flower take out the powdery yellow part in the middle and clean off the stalk. If you make a hole in the bottom while doing this, don’t worry, it will still work-not the end of the world or the flower.
The stuffing recipe is actually a rich rice pilaf. So it you are out of flowers you can serve it as a pilaf, side dish. My daughter actually enjoys eating it so. Once the stuffing is ready. Gently open the flower and put enough stuffing into it to fill it half way. Then cover the leaves to form a small flower bundle.
When ready make sure to cook over really low heat. Use a skillet, large enough so they are not one on top of the other.
Cook until the rice is well done and the flowers look ready.
Enjoy this light side dish with sprinkles of sumac and/or yogurt.
50milliliterwarm waterfor cooking the zucchini flowers
Preparing Zucchini Flowers
Pick zuchini flowers that are still orange and that have not turned brownish. Open gently the flowers and gently snap out the yellow powdery part in the middle. Cut off the stalk gently.
Do not wash the flowers under flowing water, as the flowers are very fragile. Put enough water to soak all flowers in a bowl and gently place the flowers in the bowl. Keep in the water for about 5 minutes and set aside to drain.
Add the olive oil in a mid size pot and add the chopped onions. Stir.
Add the pine nut and cook until the onions become pinkish.
Add the rice. Stir until rice becomes pearly.
Add the tomato paste and stir.
Add the currant, salt and sugar.
Add 1 cup of warm water. Close the lid. Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is just about ready with low heat.
After closing the heat add the other spices, chopped parsley, dill, mint and lemon to the rice. Mix well. Let it cool for 15 minutes.
Stuffing and Cooking
Gently open a zucchini flower and place a dessert spoon of stuffing. Fill until halfway and then close the remaining parts to form a little flower bundle.
Continue till all the flowers are finished.
Add a table spoon of olive oil into a skillet and place the zucchini flower bundles into the skillet. When all of them are ready pour about 50 milliliters of warm water.
Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Taste a few rice to check whether the dish is ready to serve.
Serve cold or warm with a piece lemon or plain yogurt as a side dish. Sprinkle with sumac (a kind of red pepper flakes if available). Enjoy.