Zucchini and zucchini flowers herald the arrival of summer cooking.
If you have read any of my sewing and quilting posts you may have noticed that I love florals. I have to say that this extends from fabric to food too. I’m not opposed to using flowers in cooking. I think they look so beautiful and add a uniqueness to any dish. On a serious side, always check if a flower is edible. Not all are. Some, like lobelia and foxgloves are toxic!
However, flowers like, roses, nasturtiums, violets, sunflowers, some geraniums, artichokes and marigolds are edible.
Another popular flower for eating are the beautiful zucchini flowers. They can be used as they come or stuffed.
But don’t fret, if you can’t get hold of some zucchini flowers, the dish can still be made successfully without them..
This is how I do it.
Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Prepare all other ingredients. This meal does not take long to cook. Once the water is boiling add the pasta.
In a heavy based pan, put 1 tablespoon of the oil, the sugar and the sliced leeks. Cook on medium heat until the leeks are well wilted, sweet and soft. Remove from the pan.
Add the zucchini. Saute until the zucchini begin to soften, then add the parsley. Continue until the parsley is softened and the zucchini starts to become translucent.
Now add the garlic, chilli, salt to taste and ground black pepper. Add the zucchini flowers. Stir gently so as not to break them up. Once they are warmed through, Then return the leeks to the pan. Stir though till warmed again. Turn off the heat. Add the second tablespoon of olive oil.
Drain the pasta, when cooked to aldente. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the zucchini and leek mixture. Gently distribute through. Garnish with the fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately with some grated Parmesan cheese.