Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pan-Fried Zucchini Flower Tacos with Herbed Fresh Ricotta

So I really lucked out on my most recent market visit to prep for my last taco recipe of the series- delicate zucchini flowers, heirloom cherry tomatoes (I know!!), and fresh herbs. I had never cooked with zucchini flowers before, and was excited to experiment with them... and not just resort to the "batter 'em and fry 'em" typical Italian mode of preparation, though the way the blossoms puff up from frying is pretty intriguing. Other ideas for the flowers? Putting them in a risotto, a frittata, a quesadilla, or stuffing them with tofu.

The part I did not luck out with, however, was how few zucchini flowers I purchased, not fully realizing how much were needed to fill a taco... so if you find yourself in front of a zucchini flower display, stock up if you're planning on cooking with them the same night- they're only best when they're fresh! This recipe can easily be doubled (and easily made vegan if you omit the ricotta for crumbled tofu!) and if you prefer, you can add some tofu for a bit of protein. Either way, call it my Italimexican twist on tacos!

I hope you enjoyed my taco series! If there's anything else you'd like to see or anything you'd like to hear more about, leave a comment or email me! Thanks so much for reading!

The Whats:

* 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 
* 8 zucchini flowers, halved with pistils removed
* 1/2 a small yellow onion, sliced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup fresh ricotta (you can easily substitute with tofu ricotta to make this vegan!) at room temperature
* 1 tsp. cilantro, finely chopped
* 1 tsp. parsley, finely chopped
* salt & pepper to taste
* 1/4 cup sliced heirloom cherry tomatoes
* 2 flour tortillas
* frisee and cilantro for garnish

The Hows:

1) In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover and set aside.
2)  In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until slightly softened. Add zucchini flowers and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until flower edges just start to brown and crisp. Remove from pan.

3) Top tortillas with pan-fried zucchini flowers, ricotta, tomatoes, and frisee and additional parsley, if using. Makes 2 servings.


Chef Dennis said...

now I love zucchini flowers and that certainly is a new way to use them!!
thanks so much for sharing and welcome to food buzz!

The Friendly Veg said...

Thanks Dennis! I'm excited to see what everyone's cooking on food buzz and get some more inspiration!