Stuffed zucchini flowers

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

"Zucchini flowers are always served as a starter with a dollop of sheep's milk yoghurt in Crete, where they're picked first thing in the morning before the petals close," says John Rerakis.

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 250 ml (1 cup) tomato passata
  • ½ cup (firmly packed) each dill and mint, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 200 gm (1 cup) long-grain rice
  • 30 zucchini flowers, stamens removed
01   Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and stir occasionally until tender (2-3 minutes). Add passata, herbs and cumin, season to taste and bring to the boil. Add rice, stir to combine, remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
02   Preheat oven to 170C. Carefully open petals of a zucchini flower and place a teaspoon of rice mixture inside, taking care not to tear the petals, then twist tops of petals to enclose. Repeat with remaining zucchini flowers and rice mixture. Place in a single layer in a large lightly oiled roasting pan, season generously to taste and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Add enough water to come one-third up zucchini flowers and bake until just tender (20-25 minutes). Serve hot scattered with extra dill and mint.
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