Six zucchini flower dishes that won’t be around for long
For a very brief time every summer, you can dig into squash blossoms as they pop up on menus across the city. Whether they’re fried, stuffed or wrapped in a tortilla, these short-lived blooms are always scrumptious. Here, five flower-powered plates that are available right now.
Angolino’s stuffed zucchini flowers
1595 Dupont St., 647-748-2426, angolino.ca
Angolino’s flower dish follows the “less is more” maxim: there are only five ingredients in the entire recipe. Chef Tyson Liebrecht takes young zucchini flowers, removes their stamens and then stuffs them with lemony ricotta. After a brief stint under the broiler, the buds are plated on a bed of zucchini–olive oil purée. The resulting plate looks plucked from a Monet painting. $9.
Byblos’ eggplant-stuffed blossoms
11 Duncan St., 647-660-0909, byblostoronto.com
Byblos imports these giant blooms from Israel then packs them with a hearty mixture of seared eggplant, dried apricots and pine nuts. A pinch of bahārāt—a Middle Eastern spice mix of paprika, cinnamon, star anise, coriander and nutmeg—adds a smoky sweetness. The flowers are dredged in chickpea batter, deep-fried, and served with yogurt and a sprinkle of sumac. $15.
Mattachioni’s flower power pizza
1617 Dupont St., 416-519-1010, mattachioni.com
Terroni alum David Mattachioni’s wood-fired Fiore di Zucca pizza is topped with roasted cherry tomatoes, salty Sicilian anchovies, mozzarella, ricotta and, of course, zucchini flowers. $18.
Buca’s battered blooms
604 King W., 416-865-1600, buca.ca
Buca buys Ontario zucchini flowers that are half flower, half vegetable. Without separating the petals from the veg, chef Rob Gentile stuffs the bloom with equal parts buffalo ricotta and minced Haida Gwaii halibut before they’re battered and deep fried. Mineral water gives the batter a tempura-like crunch. $18.
Oasis Rooftop Taqueria’s quesadilla
99 Blue Jays Way, @andres_tequila
This summer, Andres Marquez (Fonda Lola) has taken over the 250-seat rooftop patio of Wayne Gretzky’s to serve Mexican street staples like this flor de calabaza quesadilla. Marquez bisects and sears young zucchini, then fans them inside a flour tortilla stuffed with mozzarella and ancho-spiced beans. Marquez adds some heat to the mild dish with a sauce made of white wine, shallots, butter and roasted poblano peppers. $15.
Windup’s curried crab zucchini flowers
382 College St., 647-349-6373, winduprestaurant.ca
Caribbean spot Windup is stuffing their zucchini flowers with a curried crab–chickpea mix. Chef Bryan Birch serves his deep fried florets with a salad (grilled corn, baby zucchini, pickled long beans, cherry tomatoes) and an addictive, cilantro-like shado beni mayo. $9.