weekly photo challenge: inside
I had zucchini flowers (Kabak Cicegi dolmasi) last week in Alacati. They were not amazing. This particular and demanding food is difficult to find. It has special season. Moving from south to north, summer to winter (yes, it is 20 degrees celsius and mostly raining in Brussels) I found my self enjoying some drinks at the posh Chatelain Market in Brussels this Wednesday. And zucchini flowers were welcoming me. They looked so good. So if you are lucky to find them in your local market try the following recipe. It requires patience as you have to stuff rice and other ingredients inside these fragile vegetables.
20 zucchini flowers
1 1/2 cup rice
2 medium onions, very finely chopped or grated
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp currants
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp allspice or cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
1 or more tsp salt
juice of 1/2 lemon or 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
1-2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup finely chopped dill
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley (save the stems)
-Trim the stems and remove the stamens from the flower. It might be tricky to remove the stamen; I used a little knife to cut the stamen. Wash the zucchini flowers, check inside for any unwanted guests, and then place them in a bowl of hot (not boiling hot, though) water to soften. Set aside.
-Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a pot. Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
-Add rice and stir for 5 minutes.
-Add currants, pine nuts, sugar, allspice or cinnamon, black pepper and salt.
-Add 1 cup water and cook on low until water is absorbed. Turn it off.
-Add greens: dill, mint, parsley, and lemon juice or pomegranate molasses. Mix well and set aside to cool down.
-Place the parsley stems that you saved at the bottom of a pot. If you do not have parsley stems you can cover the bottom of the pot with vine leaves or apple skin. Flowers are very delicate so you don’t want to put them directly on the pot.
-Drain zucchini flowers. With a small spoon or your fingers stuff each flower with the rice stuffing: gently open up the petals, put the stuffing, and seal the flower by folding the petals one by one around the filling.
-Place stuffed flowers tight on parsley stems (or whatever you have). Sprinkle 2 tbsp olive oil and pour 1 cup of water.
-Find a flat-ish plate that would fir in your pot. Place the plate on stuffed flowers.
-Cook on low until water is absorbed, approximately half an hour.
-Wait at least 20 minutes before taking stuffed zucchini flowers out of the pot.
-Serve warm or cold. Goes well with yogurt.
Source: Almost Turkish Recipes