Amazingly enough, in Greece, you can go to your neighborhood farmers' market (laiki) and order just the zucchini flowers! When I made this recipe in the U.S., I had a friend who collected all of the ones from her plants for me.
Luckily, the stuffing can be used in grape leaves too, so don't despair if you can't find zucchini flowers anywhere!
Now, the recipe is from my mother-in-law, who got it from her friend who is from the island of Crete. It's perfect for vegetarians and vegans too--no meat or dairy products at all.
Let's zip right to the zesty recipe!
2 medium tomatoes, grated
1 large onion, grated
1 can or jar of artichoke hearts, chopped into small pieces
1 large carrot, grated
2 zucchini squash, grated
1 1/2 Tablespoons mint
2 Tablespoons dill
2 Tablespoons parsley
1 cup of olive oil (Greek, if you can find it, after all, it's a Greek recipe!)
salt and pepper to taste
zucchini flowers, or grape leaves
2. If using zucchini flowers, carefully pull out stamens and pistil from inside flower. Then gently rinse. Flowers are very delicate. If using grape leaves, remove stems and rinse.
3. Stuff flowers or grape leaves, and place in large pot, filling all available space to create a layer, and then placing more on top to create another layer, and so on.
4. Pour liquid remaining in bowl over the layers. Add small amount of water, about 1/4 cup.
5. Cover pot, and heat on low for about 30-40 minutes. Check frequently. You do not want bottom layer to stick to bottom. If needed add small amount of water.
6. Can be eaten warm (my preference) or room temperature (my husband's preference)!
Now, I doubt you'd find this dish if you stopped and had a meal at...
Well, this ends the alphabet in my Alphabet Challenge. Come back tomorrow for a zany surprise!
What words, that begin with the letter Z, do you think I should include for teachers?
Let me know in a comment below!