If you had a glut of zucchini blossoms like I had, you’ll want to cook them up “every which way but loose”, like I did. So far we’ve stuffed them, fried them, offered up a dessert and now there’s the combo of pasta and zucchini blossoms. This dish is one way to use up those zucchini blossoms that might be in your fridge’s crisper beyond a couple of days or for the smaller ones where the blossom is just to small or not worth stuffing.
They are still edible and substantive if those stems/tendrils are still attached to the blossom. I like saying the word “tendril”…it’s sexy! This dish, like many a summer pasta dish is quick, delicious and the “sauce” (if you can call it a sauce) is ready even before the pasta has cooked! You’re looking at a dish that contains lots of garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, pine nuts, fresh basil and scallions. Basically (other than the scallions) we’re looking at a deconstructed basil pesto dish with zucchini blossoms tossed into the mix.
As the ingredients are pretty basic here, the olive oil you use will anchor the dish and I would choose a good one. In our house, we only use Greek extra-virgin oil. Does your market carry Greek olive oil? If not ask if they can carry some. Got a Greek grocer in your neighborhood? They will proudly show you some of the varieties available. No Greek shops in your area, you can order some Greek olive oil online…go on, tell’em Peter sent ya!
Zucchini Blossoms With Basil & Pine Nuts
500 gr. package of linguine
16 zucchini blossoms, trimmed, rinsed and halved
2 cups of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
9 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch of scallions (5-6), sliced
pinch of Boukovo (chilli flakes)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup of Kefalotyri cheese
- Place a large pot of water on your stove-top over high heat. Bring to a boil, add a generous amount of salt and add your dry linguine. Cook to 1 minute less than your package instrcutions.
- Rinse your zucchini blossoms well and carefully halve them from top of the blossom to the end of the stem. You may now remove the pistil and any outer leaves. Pat dry.
- Place a large skillet on your stovetop over medium-low heat and lightly toast your pine nuts for a minute or teo or until they just turn colour. Remove from the pan and reserve.
- In the same skillet over medium heat, add your olive oil, slices of garlic and scallions. Season with some salt and cook for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add your zucchini blossoms and toss to coat in the oil and other ingredients and turn the heat off and allow to cook a bit over the residual heat.
- Remove your pasta 1 minute before the package instructions and drain. Add the pasta to your skillet with the zucchini blossoms along with the pine nuts and chopped fresh basil. Carefully toss the pasta to amalgamate all the ingredients and add some grated Kefalotyri cheese, some freshly ground pepper.
- Divide and plate. Drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil, some more grated cheese and some basil leaves for garnish. Serve with a Mikros Kibotos (Lantides) white, a blend of Assyrtiko and Malagouzia grapes that’s ideal for light dishes like this one.
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