My husband Albert LOVES Italian stuffed zucchini flowers, it’s a real treat for him. For father’s day I really wanted to prepare something special for him, beautiful to see and at the same time kid friendly 🙂
I ended up with a super soft tart (the base really tastes like a focaccia!!) topped with zucchini flowers filled with ricotta and anchovies.
The final presentation is really really beautiful: perfect for a party or just to impress your friends.
I really didn’t know how the kids would react to the zucchini flower tart as it was something totally new for them. Well, I was impressed. They ate all!!! I served a slice to Luca with a single zucchini flower on it. I let him pick which flower…and he was happy. I cut the same size slice for Alex in small bites…and he really enjoyed them. I think that they liked the idea of “eating flowers” and the very soft and thick tart base. In addition to that the anchovies gave a lovely salted flavor to the creamy ricotta filling.
I like adding anchovies here and there in my summer recipes. I buy them from my Italian fish monger in Liguria. He makes this little jars of fresh anchovies and Extra Virgin Oil of Olive, insanely good!! If I would show the tiny long anchovies to the kids they would NEVER eat them. Instead, I mash one or two anchovies in a creamy paste and I use it to salt my recipes. It works!! The kids like the taste and I love the wonderful nutritional value of anchovies. They are a tiny super food, brimming with nutrients and omega-3s and low in mercury. They are a rich source of the B vitamins niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B-12. well, not bad for a tiny tiny fish 🙂
You can prepare the tart even one day in advance and warm it up for the next day.
- 1 Cup flour 200gr.
- 6 Tbsp butter 80gr.
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp Pecorino cheese - grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 16 zucchini flowers
- 1 1/4 Cup ricotta cheese 300gr.
- 8/10 anchovies
- 1 egg
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Prepare the dough. In a kitchen mixer add the flour, the cold butter cut in cubes (it is very important to use cold butter, not room temperature) the eggs (room temperature, not cold), the grated Pecorino cheese and a pinch of salt.
- Let the mixer work for 2 minutes up until a compact dough will be formed.
- Transfer the dough on a flat surface and knead it with your hands for 2 minutes.
- Wrap the dough in plastic paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl mix the ricotta cheese with the egg and the anchovies forming a smooth cream.
- Gently wash the zucchini flowers and pat them dry with a paper towel. Delicately open them and fill them with one or two teaspoons of ricotta mix.
- In a medium size pan add few tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, turn the heat on at medium and add the zucchini flowers, one next to the other.
- Sautee' them for 3/4 minutes, flipping them once.
- Cover a springform pan with some parchment paper.
- Place the zucchini flower at the bottom of the pan, one next to the other forming a nice circle.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it into a thick 1 inch circle
- Gently cover the zucchini flowers with the dough.
- Press the sides down with your fingers.
- With a fork or a knife make small incisions on the dough surface so that the air will be able to breath out while baking without forming strange bubbles.
- Bake in preheated oven at 400F/180C for 35 minutes.
- Once cooked, flip the tart on a serving plate, remove the pan and the parchment paper.
- Serve warm or cold, it is both delicious!!