Stuffed zucchini blossoms

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
12 Baby zucchini with flowers OR
12 Zucchini flowers AND
1 large Zucchini
2 ounces Prociutto (Italian cured ham), diced
¼ cup Grated Parmesan cheese
½ pounds Ricotta cheese
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 Garlic clove, sliced in half
3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
For the bechamel sauce:
3 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon Flour (heaping)
1½ cup Milk

Cut the zucchini into thin slices. (If you're using one large zucchini, quarter it lengthwise, and then slice.) Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and saute until golden. Discard the garlic and add the zucchini slices to the skillet. Add salt and saute for 10 minutes, until the turn lightly golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a bowl, mash the ricotta with a fork. Add half the Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, and the prociutto. Add the sauteed zucchini and mix well.

Make the bechamel sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and flour in small pot, stirring the mixture with a whisk. Add the milk and whisk vigorously. Continue until the mixture starts to boil, but don't let it boil. Remove from heat. Add remaining Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff the zucchini flowers with the ricotta mixture. Place the stuffed flowers in an oven-proof casserole that has been greased with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Pour the bechamel sauce over the flowers. Bake in a 375'F. oven until top is browned, about 40 minutes.

NOTE: You can also stuff the flowers while they're still attached to the baby zucchini. Just have one large zucchini on hand to use for the stuffing. Bake the stuffed flowers, attached to the fruit, as directed.

Per serving: 380 calories; 31⅒ grams fat; (13 grams saturated fat; 74% calories from fat); 77 milligrams cholesterol; 541 milligrams sodium. Submitted By MICHAEL ORCHEKOWSKI On 08-08-95

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