Stuffed Courgette Flowers

Kabak çiçeği dolması

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    3-4

Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Late spring heralds the arrival of the young courgettes with their pretty pale-green and yellow flowers, both of which Turkish cooks are always eager to stuff. In Istanbul the flowers are often stuffed with a rice and meat mixture, and in parts of Anatolia they are filled with bulgur. This delicately flavoured recipe from Bolu omits meat.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 fresh courgette flowers
  • 6 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and a little butter
  • 2 courgettes, grated and sprinkled with a little salt
  • 4 oz/120 g bulgur
  • 1 tablespoon currants, soaked in water
  • 1 teaspoon kırmızı biber or 1 small red chilli pepper, finely chopped
  • small bunch of parsley, dill and mint, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking liquid

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • Preheat oven to 350F/Mark 4/180C
  • Rinse the flowers and leave to drain on a few layers of absorbent kitchen paper.
  • In a deep pan, soften the shallots and garlic with the pine nuts in the oil and butter. Squeeze the courgette to drain the excess water, and add to the pan. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the bulgur with the currants and kırmızı biber. Add the salt and pour over enough water to just cover. Bring the water to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Mix in the fresh herbs with a fork. Season to taste.
  • Carefully spoon the mixture into each flower, folding the tops over to encase the filling, and pack them tightly into an oven-proof dish.
  • To make the cooking liquid, mix the lemon juice, oil and water together with the crushed garlic, and pour it over the stuffed flowers. Cover the dish and place it in the oven for about 40 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. Serve hot or cold, with wedges of lemon to squeeze over them.