savory crêpes filled with zucchini blossoms, baby vegetables, and cheese
fiori di zucca (zucchini blossoms)
I grew up eating plenty of vegetables and one of my favorites was steamed squash blossoms. We never had them stuffed nor deep-fried; we cooked them by putting on top of freshly cooked rice and left to wilt and soften for a few minutes. They were simply served with sea salt and lemon juice (calamansi).
I planted a few seeds of fiori di zucca bought from an online seed company, the catalog promises the plants will yield mostly flowers and few tiny/baby fruits. Indeed the plants have lots and lots of bright orange blossoms and one or two tender tasty sweet fruits. I chopped the fruits and sauteed them with the blossoms, shallots, and baby Swiss chards and used it to fill savory crêpes for a light but delicious and satisfying summer lunch dish. I love the Parmesan cheese crust and the crispy edges but tender on the inside pancakes. The mild flavors of the vegetables and Provolone go perfectly well with the small amount of Parmesan cheese.
Fiori di Zucca Crêpes
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1¼ cups water
¼ cup light olive oil
- Blend ingredients in a blender and let rest on the kitchen counter or refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat; brush lightly with light olive oil. Stir batter and pour about 2½ tablespoons, swirling to coat the skillet evenly. Cook until edges come off the skillet, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter.
20 pieces zucchini blossoms
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
1 cup coarsely chopped baby zucchini
1 cup chopped baby Swiss chard, optional
½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
½ cup grated Provolone cheese
- Reserve 4 blossoms cut in half lengthwise for garnish; cut remaining blossoms into 4 pieces; set aside. Heat butter in a skillet and saute shallots until soft, about 2 minutes. Add baby zucchini and saute for 2 minutes; add blossoms and Swiss chard, if using, and saute for 2 minutes. Turn heat off and mix in ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
- Fill crêpes: Place 2 tablespoons of grated Provolone on one half of each crepe, top with 2 tablespoons of sauteed vegetables, fold over in half and fold one more time. Repeat with the rest of ingredients. Place filled crêpes on an oven-proof dish, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle top of each with half a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and press one blossom half on top. Place under the broiler until Parmesan is golden brown and edges of crêpes are crispy.