Last Saturday, I was delighted to find zucchini blossoms at my local farmers' market. There is just something so amusing, romantic, and exotic about edible flowers, whether they are tossed with a salad or pressed into the frosting of a cupcake.
While zucchini blossoms are expensive, their season is relatively short—it's worth splurging on them once or twice a summer to prepare something special. Their fresh, herbal flavor and subtle crunch (kind of like lamb's lettuce) pairs well a variety of dishes, from sandwiches and pastas to the popular appetizer in which they are stuffed with ricotta cheese and deep fried.
I used mine to prepare the zucchini blossom frittata from the August issue of Bon Appétit. Maybe it was the sunny afternoon, maybe it was because the large iced coffee I was drinking went straight to my head, but I was feeling especially creative and decided to take some poetic license with the magazine's original recipe.
In the interest of reducing calories, I replaced the seven eggs called for with four whole eggs and four egg whites. I also swapped out the piment d'Espelette (as if that was in my spice cabinet) with plain old freshly ground black pepper. And at the last minute, I tossed in some crumbled goat cheese, just for good measure.
The results were so fabulous I felt like I could have opened up my apartment as a brunch joint and charged a competitive Park Slope price, to boot. The eggs cooked perfectly (watch the frittata closely when it's in the broiler—it really does only need one minute), and the zucchini blossoms were complimented, but not overpowered, by the sautéed onions and creamy goat cheese. I paired it with a salad of pea shoots dressed in balsamic vinaigrette, but I wish I had had a mimosa.
- Yield:4 servings
- 20 zucchini blossoms, stems removed
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs plus 4 egg whites, whisked to blend
- Generous knob of goat cheese (about 1/4 cup)
- Handful chopped fresh parsley
Gently rinse and dry zucchini blossoms. Preheat broiler.
Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; reduce heat to medium and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add blossoms and sauté just until wilted, turning often, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Spread blossoms in skillet in single layer; increase heat to medium-high. Add eggs and egg whites and cook until beginning to set around the edges, lifting frittata with heatproof rubber spatula and allowing eggs to flow underneath. Crumble the goat cheese into the skillet on top of the eggs. Continue cooking until eggs are softly set, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to broiler; broil until top of frittata is set, 1 minute. Slide frittata onto platter. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.