Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Flowers with Pesto

Italians love to complain about Italy. Seriously, talk to an Italian for a couple minutes and they will 99% of the time start ranting about how nothing works in Italy, how the economy/government/things in general are messed up.  They must take its immense beauty for granted, because I would willingly live with all those problems if I knew I could wake up to this view every morning.

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This is Lerici, a little town on the Ligurian coast.  I visited a few years ago, and it took my breath away.  So in honor of Lerici I decided to share a quasi-Ligurian recipe involving the most famous condiment of the region, pesto.




These are ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers with pesto, and I highly recommend you make them for your next lunch.  In Italy, zucchini flowers are widely available, but in the states it might be a little harder to find them. though recently I am seeing more of them at farmer’s markets in the US.



Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Flowers with Pesto

zucchini flowers

200g ricotta

1 egg

grated parmiggiano reggiano

1 large bunch basil


olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Gently wash the flowers and remove the stamen inside without ripping the petals.  Prepare the filling: mix the ricotta with grated parmiggiano to taste and then beat in the egg until the mixture is homogeneous.

Spoon the filling into the flowers and put them on a baking dish.  Bake for 20 minutes.

While the flowers are in the oven, make the pesto.  In a food processor, blend the basil with a handful of pinenuts, about 1/2 cup grated parmiggiano, and 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Add salt to taste.

When the flowers are done, put them on a plate and drizzle the pesto on top.  Enjoy!

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