I have been absolutely loving the farmer’s market this summer – as evidenced by my post last week for a strawberry rhubarb pie. My latest find at the farmer’s market was zucchini (or squash) blossoms. I love flowers, I love the look of them, the smell of them, so the idea of flowers that are also tasty – I couldn’t help but snag them up and figure out what to do with them later.
When we got back home it hit me. At some point last summer, when R and I were out at one of our favorite vegan restaurants, I had a salad with ricotta stuffed zucchini blossoms that was insanely delicious. I hadn’t ever even heard of eating blossoms before then, but I decided to give it a try and it was delicious. With that salad in mind, I decided to try my hand at my own stuffed blossoms.
I decided to go with a tofu base for the ricotta, since I didn’t have any cashews on hand to soak. I managed to find some pine nuts laying around the apartment and first thought of doing a pesto ricotta of sorts. So I gave them a good toasting over the oven and started prepping the other ingredients. And then I laid eyes on the truffle salt I always have in the fridge but haven’t found a whole lot of use for lately. I used to love truffle salt on eggs, back when I used to still eat eggs. I’ve used truffle salt in dressings and on popcorn, but it seemed to be calling to me from the fridge while I was digging around for basil. So in it went.
After adding the truffle salt in, I decided to forego the basil. Too many competing flavors. Luckily, between the toasted pine nuts and the truffle, it was more than flavorful. The ricotta was very simple to make, the only thing that was difficult about this recipe was actually stuffing the blossoms with the ricotta.
The flowers are extremely delicate, made even more so by the fact I washed them and they hadn’t quite dried when I started stuffing. I tried a couple of different tactics until I found one that worked. I held the flowers open, and used a chopstick to push the ricotta down into the base of the flower until there was enough stuffing to cover about half of the flower. If I had a frosting bag, that would have made everything so much easier.
In the end, I ended up with only two that were torn and didn’t make it to the salad plates, out of the 8 I picked up at the market. I’d say that’s pretty good odds for a first time.
For the salad, I just made a very simple lettuce and spinach salad with some shredded zucchini and cherry tomatoes. I topped it with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and it made a delicious and light lunch that was perfect on a hot summer day.
The blossoms themselves were delicious and mild, with the truffle and creamy ricotta giving them a rich flavor. The slight crunch of the blossoms was especially good juxtaposed with the thick and smooth cream of the ricotta. It was a surprisingly delicious combination especially when it was combined with the tang from the balsamic.
One more wonderful recipe inspired by the farmer’s market. Isn’t summer the best?
Truffled Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
What You’ll Need:
- 9 zucchini blossoms
- 3/4 block of tofu (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon truffle salt
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
- 2 cups lettuce
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
What You’ll Do:
- Start by pressing the tofu (wrap in paper towel and place under something heavy like a book or a large cutting board).
- Toast the pine nuts over medium heat until they are slightly browned. Set aside.
- Blend the tofu, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic clove, miso paste, and truffle salt together in a food processor until everything is well mixed.
- Stuff the ricotta into the zucchini blossoms using a spoon and a chopstick (or if you have a frosting bag, I strongly suggest using it!)
- Use half the rest of the ingredients to make one salad so you end up with two total salads.
- Top the salad with the blossoms and serve immediately.
Note: You’ll have a lot of the ricotta left over. I used about half of it. You can use it to make more blossoms or it’s great with shredded zucchini pasta.