So here I sit on my beautiful deck, on my small mountain, on a brilliant day, looking at my computer. But I tell you what, it’s still bliss. And I can’t help myself. Must share last night’s accidental recipe.
The husband continually asks me not to let him plant too much zucchini. Every year he begs me to stop him. Every year I fail. As if I could change his behavior in any way. We end up leaving them in front of neighbors’ houses and running away.
So there we were last night, staring at the garden, looking at all those yellow flowers that will soon be a million of the biggest zucchinis you ever saw, and he comes up with a brilliant idea. “Don’t you want to stuff those and serve them as appetizers?” Now, yeah, I’m a creative type, but people were on their way over for dinner and I hadn’t showered or cleaned the house. I gave him a withering look. Then I got creative.
I soaked some cashews and pine nuts (while sprucing up for dinner), made a quick nut cheese, then commenced the irritating task of stuffing.
And guess what? They were the star of dinner. Seriously, so so good. I always scoffed at stuffed flowers. I mean really, a pile of creamy cheese fried in a flower? Pretty, but do I want to eat that? Um, no.
These left our palates perfectly tantalized and yet our tummies were not too full for the next course. They were a huge hit. Just next time, honey, ask me a little earlier so I can shower, ok?
Vegan Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Serves at least 4
12-16 Zucchini Flowers (ours were small, you might use fewer if they’re big, plus they’ll be so much easier to stuff)
½ Cup Raw Pine Nuts (preferably soaked 1 hour)
½ Cup Raw Cashews (preferably soaked 1 hour
1 clove raw garlic
½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup water
Drain Nuts and add to blender
Add all remaining ingredients to blender
Blend until fairly smooth, like a fine ricotta
Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more nutritional yeast, water, salt, lemon to taste.
Using a sharp knife cut a slit in the zucchini flower (lengthwise, from stem to top)
Using a very small spoon fill each flower with “cheese”
Heat a skillet on medium high heat and coat with grapeseed oil (butter or olive oil will also work but have a lower smoke point)
Gently place flowers in pan and fry for 3-5 minutes until flowers look soft and are a little browned on the bottom.
Notes: You can turn the flowers onto their sides gently part way through cooking to give them more “pan contact” but it could get messy. I managed it with some, not others. You can also cover the pan to keep the heat in and help them cook through without turning, which is what I landed on in the end.
Yes, nuts are better raw, but I think in this recipe they maintain their health benefits pretty well since they get just warm on the inside, not hot and cooked through.