This is one of my most recent most loved recipes, it's one I loathed younger and one that I really look forward to every summer when I come to my gran's house in Greece. Courgette flowers are generally hard to come by, even here, and tricky, because of their fragility, to cook with, but today I have a delicious, easy recipe for you to try. Here we stuff them with rice and mild herbs and oven bake them, but there are many other variants depending on who makes them and especially where the recipe is from!
(as a starter for 4)
20 courgette flowers
2 cups of rice for "gemista" if you happen to be in Greece or are one of my lovely Greeg readers (Geia sas!!) or long grain rice if you are everywhere else (hi to you too!!)
1 onion, grated
1/2 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of mint, finely chopped
4 large tomatoes, grated
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
Rinse each flower carefully, removing the yellow stamen and any external leaves. The blossoms are very fragile so be gentle, you don't want to ruin them before preparing them. Pat them dry, again very carefully.
Preheat oven to 180º.
In a bowl, combine the rice, grated onion, grated tomatoes, parsley and mint, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Carefully fill 1 tbsp of the mixture into each blossom. Fold the top inwards to close them. In an oiled oven proof dish place all your blossoms in a single layer. Place in the oven and bake for about 1 hour. About 5-8 minutes before they are baked you can take the pan out and grate parmesan cheese, this is completely up to you and depending how cheesy you like your food.
Serve warm and enjoy the joys of nature.