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Sauteed Meat-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

This is a specialty of the Piedmont area of Italy. The blossoms can be made in advance and served at room temperature as a first course. They taste just as good at room temperature as they do hot. Maybe better.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound ground veal
1/4 pound ground pork
1/3 pound salami, very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Small handful of fresh Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmiginao-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground pepper
12 good-size zucchini flowers
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the veal, pork, salami, garlic and parsley and stir briskly to blend. When the meats are fully cooked, about 5 minutes, transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool completely.

When the meats are cool, add the eggs and cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

Gently stuff each zucchini flower with the meat mixture, closing the opening by pressing the tips of the petals together. Don't worry if the flowers won't stay closed. During cooking, the flowers will wilt, and the petals can be easily wrapped around the filling before serving.

To cook, place the 2 tablespoons olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over very low heat. When the butter is melted, set the stuffed zucchini flowers in the pan and roll in the butter-oil mixture to coat on all sides. Cover and let cook about 15 minutes. Midway through the cooking, turn over the flowers. Remove from the pan and serve either hot or at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

Thursday, August 17, 2000

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