Don’t be scared. It’s not a zucchini flower on steroids. It’s an omelet shrouded in squash blossoms. While it make look difficult to make, it’s easier than you think. Just follow the step-by-step instructions in the photos below. The inspiration for this was a recent issue of “La Cucina Italiana” and of course, the plethora of zucchini and squash blossoms greeting me each day in the garden. I actually used blossoms from butternut squash plants that cropped up in our vegetable garden by accident. My husband composts all our fruit and vegetable peels, cores and other organic wastes by digging a hole and burying them somewhere in the garden. Invariably, some seedlings emerge unintended. In this case, what we thought were more zucchini plants turned out to be butternut squash. The flowers and leaves are nearly identical to zucchini plants, so that’s what I used in this omelet. In the omelet pictured here, I used red pepper, leeks and bits of zucchini for the filling. I’ve also made it exactly as the magazine suggests (recipe below), with leeks and mushrooms instead. Either way, it’s great, but you can add or subtract any kind of filling you want. I also add some bits of cheese, (one time brie, another time cheddar) which the magazine recipe does not. You can customize it however you like. For a single serving omelet: Start by sauteeing a few tablespoons each of chopped leeks, red pepper and zucchini bits in vegetables in some olive oil or butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add one squash blossom that’s been cut into strips. Saute for a few more seconds. Turn off the heat. Remove and set aside the stuffing. In a separate cast iron or nonstick saucepan over low to medium heat, melt 1 T. butter or olive oil. Pour in two eggs that have been beaten lightly in a bowl with 1 T. milk, salt, pepper and a little chopped parsley. When the eggs are nearly set, place the filling and 1 ounce of cheese on top, a little off-center, but in a straight line. Using two forks or your fingers, start to flip the omelet over the filling (You can see, I got too ambitious and added a bit too much filling here.) Keep rolling the omelet until it closes on itself. Then carefully remove to a plate. Take two squash blossoms and remove the pistils with a scissors or pinch it out with your fingers. Cut across the bottom to remove the end piece that was attached to the stem. Open up the flower and lay it flat in the saute pan where you cooked the omelet, but turn off the heat first. Leave it alone for about one minute. The residual heat from cooking the omelet will be enough to wilt the flower. Return the omelet to the pan, centering it on the flower. Fold the flower petals around the omelet and turn the omelet in the pan to help the blossom adhere to the egg.
Grab a fork and enjoy
Here’s the recipe from the July/August issue of “La Cucina Italiana”
Serves 4 people.
Omelette alle verdure
- 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, trimmed
- 20 large zucchini blossoms, stems and pistils removed
- 3 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 pound cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
- Coarse sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 large eggs
- 4 teaspoons whole milk
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chervil
- High-quality aged balsamic vinegar
Cut leek in half lengthwise then cut crosswise into 1/4 -inch pieces and wash. Cut 12 zucchini blossoms lengthwise into strips.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add leeks, mushrooms and pinch salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in sliced zucchini blossoms then transfer mixture to a plate. Wipe pan dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, beat 2 eggs with 1 teaspoon milk, 12 teaspoons chervil and pinch salt and pepper. Heat 1/3 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beaten eggs; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, lifting edges to let uncooked egg run underneath and shaking skillet occasionally to loosen omelet, until almost set, 1 to 2 minutes. Fill with a quarter of the vegetable mixture, then roll up and slide onto a plate. Return skillet to heat. Add 2 whole zucchini blossoms and pinch salt, increase heat to medium-high and cook until wilted. Put blossoms on top of omelet, drizzle with vinegar and serve immediately. Repeat to make 3 more omelets.