Anatomy Class and Zucchini Flowers

So far so good. The gardening project that is. And I have the Toronto heat wave to thank for the enormous zucchini that have sprawled across our square in the soil.

But hey now, what is this yellow flower growing from the bush? It’s definitely not a wilted sage leaf, and there’s a funny attachment to some of them – like a floral decoration to a baby zucchini or something. I asked my friend Aly, OT by day and super crafty bakerista by night, if she knew anything about this. She’s the one who introduced me to the chewy pleasures of baked coconut, taught me how to make proper Japanese pizza, and when I saw her last week, shared a slice of the fudgiest flourless chocolate cake I’ve tasted yet: chocolate oblivion truffle torte. She’s even named it.

Check out Jamie Oliver, she said. So this is what I found: a recipe for stuffed zucchini flowers. I’ve yet to try it out, but in reading around, I learned a thing or two about zucchini flowers that hearkens back to anatomy class.

If you’re picking zucchini flowers, you’ll notice that some grow on pretty normal looking stems, and others grow on something that look like a baby zucchini. Plants are sexed, if you recall from high school science, and so the ones with stems are males, while the ones on mini zucs are females. If left long enough, the females will produce the squash. Both are edible – just check on what kind of zucchini flower your recipe asks for. The Jamie Oliver recipe would work best with the female ones – something firm enough to stuff the ricotta into, while others call only for the blossoms. In fact, I found a great zucchini blossom recipe in the Canadian Living special issue Grow It, Eat It.

What about you? Are there edibles in your garden, and how are you cooking it up?

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