Saturday, September 11
We went to farmer's market today, and got just a bit of stuff, including these. What are they??
Well I took some pictures of them before cooked, but deleted them all by accident before transferring them to my computer. They are pumpkin flowers. I saw ones at my local farmer's market for the first time - in fact, I don't think I had ever seen them sold fresh anywhere. They looked very much like zucchini flowers, which I had eaten somewhere a long time ago, and the lady at the vendor said they're similar when I asked her about it. I got a bunch for home.
I remember the last time I had zucchini flowers they were fritters - it is a simple but nice way to enjoy their pretty appearance and mild flavor of squash. That was what I had in my mind when I bought the pumpkin flower, but let's face it - I don't deep-fry at home. I don't have a fryer or a deep pot, and I don't even want to. For thinner things I would be able to oven-fry them, but If flattened pumpkin flowers didn't sound very appealing.
So I (typically!) looked for recipes on the net and came up with several ones for stuffed zucchini/pumpkin flowers. One of such recipes used mozzarella cheese, anchovy fillets, and basil which I thought was great but sadly, he doesn't eat fish - rejected.
Then I ended up with this one (in Japanese), although I radically altered the ingredients.
Preparing the flours was by far the most painstaking part of all, I figured - it was just too difficult to remove the stems and pistils from the flowers while reserving the shape of the blossoms (for me at least). I almost didn't reach the stuffing part. Only thing that carried me through was the fact that I had already prepared the stuffing; chopped (some of the) pumpkin flowers, green and yellow zucchini, onion, mushrooms, parsley, and a bit of bacon lightly sauteed. So I did have some relatively less damaged flowers, and stuffed each of them with a small piece of mozzarella cheese and the stuffing, grated some pecorino romano over them, and baked just until the cheese melted and had a nice golden color.
The stuffed flowers tasted good, owing mostly to the mixture of bacon and vegetables along with the cheesees. Even so, I didn't think it was all worth it - it was too stressful to see the torn and broken remains of flowers piling up in front of me. Next time I see the flowers at the market, I won't buy them - I'd rather have some nice fritters at a restaurant, prepared by skillful chefs. Sigh.