We bought a bag full of zucchini squash blossoms from the Farmer’s market, and I created two dishes with them the next day. Their beautiful color and delicate flavor can’t be beat! For breakfast, I made an omelette with fresh herbs, goat cheese and squash blossoms. For dinner, Penne with Heirloom Tomatoes, Baby Zucchini, Squash Blossoms and Ricotta.
As the blossoms are highly perishable, it is best to use them within a day of buying. To prepare them, cut off the stem and base, remove the stamen and any loose pollen, run under cool water and dry on paper towels. If you will be stuffing them, try to leave the base of the flower intact. Check out my colorful, healthy recipe for summer pasta!
Penne with Heirloom Tomatoes, Baby Zucchini, and Squash Blossoms
4 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced in half moons
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
10 baby zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
2 medium heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 tblsp italian parsley, chopped
1/2 tblsp fresh thyme
1/2 lb Penne Rigate (or other short pasta)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh Ricotta
2 tblsp grated Parmesan
Pinch of Nutmeg
15 zucchini squash blossoms, cleaned and sliced lengthwise
handful of baby arugula
1 tblsp fresh basil, chiffonade
Salt and fresh Black Pepper
1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tblsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, red pepper flakes, and garlic and saute until onions soften, about 4 minutes. Add baby zucchini and continue cooking until they begin to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add chopped tomatoes, parsley and thyme.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, toss with remaining olive oil, and add to the skillet with the vegetables. Turn off the flame.
3. Fold in the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon juice, and pinch of nutmeg. Gently fold in the basil, sliced squash blossoms, and baby arugula until wilted. Finish with black pepper.