Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C.
Clean and prepare zucchini blossoms. Do not wash them under running water or they will be ruined. If you need to, take a slightly damp cloth and remove any obvious dirt or bugs. Remove the outer 5 prong picker on the outside of the flower at the top of the stem, where the flower meets the stem.
16 zucchini flowers
Slice open the flower lengthwise. Open the flower with your fingers gently.
Remove the stamen with scissors or knife and dust off the pollen.
If zucchini blossom stem is long, trim so that about 1 inch remains.
Toast the panko bread crumbs in a dry frying pan until golden brown over low-medium heat. About 3 minutes (keep your eye on the crumbs, stir and do not burn in pan as they brown quite quickly) Remove from pan onto a plate to cool. Add dried basil and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside
2 teaspoons Dried Basil, Salt and pepper
Make the ricotta herbed filling. In a medium bowl add the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil and salt and pepper to taste. (To Make Vegan, exchange the ricotta cheese with vegan ricotta or mashed firm tofu. In addition, exchange the Parmesan cheese with vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast.)
Salt and pepper, 1 cup Ricotta cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, ⅓ cup Fresh Basil, 2 cloves Fresh Garlic, salt and pepper
In a medium bowl add either your beaten egg. (Vegan option- use ⅓ cup of dairy free plain yogurt. If yogurt is too thick just thin with a little almond milk or water – about 1-2 teaspoons as needed to be consistency of beaten egg. )
1 large Egg
Stuff the Zucchini Flowers. Place the ricotta herbed mixture in a baggie and cut the edge off or use a pastry bag and gently fill just enough stuffing to fill the zucchini blossoms so that the cheese can be covered by the flower. Close the flower and twist flower at the top to seal.
Dunk the stuffed zucchini flower into either the egg (regular) or dairy free plain yogurt (vegan) on all sides to coat. Remove from mixture and then coat the exterior of the stuffed ricotta zucchini blossom with toasted herbed panko bread crumbs to cover all sides and edges.
Place stuffed, dipped and coated zucchini flowers on to a lined parchment baking sheet or spray with a little olive oil. Bake for 18- 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle with a little salt upon exiting the oven.
Olive oil spray
Serve hot with a delightful warmed sun-dried tomato pesto sauce or marinara sauce and Enjoy!
Marinara sauce or sun dried tomato sauce