by the handful

Nutritious culinary and healing recipes collected from the North American garden, orchard, forest, river and ocean

Stuffed Zucchini Blossom and Heirloom Tomato Salad


Zucchini blossoms are a great seasonal ingredient and a fun one to work with. Yes, you will get a little less zucchini when you harvest the flowers to eat but I think anyone who has grown zucchini can agree that this is just fine. The fried zucchini blossom sitting atop a fresh heirloom tomato salad is a divine treat. Thank you, garden! The blossoms need to be fried but I really find deep-frying to be a major bummer, it’s a huge hot mess and my least favorite cooking method. I think I have found a way to avoid it for this recipe, the blossoms have a thin crisp outside and are chewy and creamy rather than covered in a greasy crispy coating.

Stuffed Zucchini Blossom and Heirloom Tomato Salad

12 zucchini blossoms

6 oz goat cheese or cream cheese

2-3 heirloom slicing tomatoes

Fresh chives

Fresh tarragon

Fresh basil

2 eggs

4 tbsp tapioca starch

Olive oil


To prep the blossoms, trim the stems of the zucchini blossoms all the way up to a bulge beneath the base of the flower. It’s optional to pinch off the pistil (female flower) or stamen (male flower) from the inside of each to make more room for the cheese. Next, carefully drizzle a little water into each flower and let it run out to clean. Set blossoms on a kitchen towel to dry.

In a small bowl add goat cheese and ¼ tsp salt. Mince chives and tarragon, equaling about 1 tbsp total of these herbs and add to cheese. Next use the back of a spoon to mash the herbs into the cheese until it is well mixed.

In a second bowl crack 2 eggs, a small pinch of salt and whisk well with a fork. Add tapioca starch to another small bowl.

Add 2 tbsp olive oil, a few basil leaves to a blender and puree, (or use a pestle n’ mortar) and set aside.

Slice the tomatoes, arrange on 4 plates and sprinkle with a little salt. Divide the cheese into 12 even balls and then work them into a longer shape (like a tater tot).  Put one ball into each blossom and pinch while twisting the ends around, working with the hands to seal them.

In a deep dish skillet add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and bring heat to medium-high. Set the bowl containing the egg yolks and bowl with tapioca flour close to the heating pan. One by one drizzle each blossom in egg wash, letting excess drip off and then roll in tapioca starch. Add first blossom into pan at 12 o’clock and continue placing each blossom around the pan clockwise. When all blossoms are down flip the first with a pair of tongs and continue around flipping each. They should take about 3-5 minutes total.

Remove in same order and plate directly on top of the sliced tomatoes. Drizzle the basil-olive oil on tomatoes and then garnish with more fresh sliced basil if desired. These taste best when eaten immediately.



Note: regular flour can be used instead of tapioca starch, I am just a gluten free dude

Makes 4 appetizer or small lunch salad size portions.


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