Sure, the happy yellow blooms look pretty now.
Oh, and look, some of the flowers have baby zucchini growing out of them. How cute!
Ah, but in a a span of days, those diminutive veggies will explode to gargantuan proportions.
Act now! Pick your zucchini when they are no more than 1-inch wide. You’ll thank me later.
To prepare a gratinata, slice the zucchini very thin on the finest setting of a mandoline or with the slicing blade of a food processor.
This easy dish is always a hit because the cheese and olive oil not only add terrific flavor to the mild squash, they help to crisp up the texture. It’s equally delicious served warm or at room temperature.
Gratinata di Zucchini
Extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
2 pounds small zucchini (1-inch diameter) very thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pine nuts or almonds
Preheat a grill to 375°F. On a sheet of waxed paper, combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
Oil the bottom of a 13 x 10 x 1-inch baking sheet with sides. Coat with one-third of the Parmesan mixture. Place one third of the zucchini slices in an even layer in the pan. Season lightly with salt. Repeat layering twice. Drizzle lightly with oil. Sprinkle evenly with the pine nuts.
Bake in the covered grill over indirect heat for about 40 minutes or until browned and sizzling. Remove from the grill to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I love blossoms fried but when I have an abundance of fruit, I usually use them grated in breads, cookies or cakes.
But they also make great salads if cut into match sticks.
As a uni student simplicity in cooking is a must for me, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be flavorful. I love to saute cubed zucchini in olive oil, season it with salt and pepper, and just before it is done a drizzle of hoy sin sauce. If you let it caramelize just right the flavor is amazing.
Michele Napoli says
Unfortunately, I don’t have a garden and very rarely find zucchini blossoms in the market. When I was a child, my grandmother used to mix them into scrambled eggs or cook them with sliced zucchini and tomatoes. On a trip to Rome, when zucchini was in bloom, we ate the flowers stuffed with either mozzarella or ricotta, dipped in batter, and fried until golden.
Michele Napoli says
I love zucchini as well as the blossoms. This dish looks delicious, and I’m sure to try it this weekend! I am a big fan of “Cooking Up An Italian Life”.
How do you prepare the blossoms?
The Food Hunter says
I will have to give this a try. thanks
…e se avanzano dei fiori, perché di frutti se ne hanno a sufficienza, si possono sempre friggere 🙂
This simple dish is without a doubt my favorite way to use a whopping garden zucchini. A simple cold salad may seem easier, but the taste benefits of this superb treat make the grilling time well worth the wait.
Another classic summer feast!