Stuffed Raw Zucchini Blossoms

IMG_5283Whenever I see zucchini blossoms for sale I feel the intense need to snap them up.  Perhaps this comes after years of seeing recipes for these delicate orange-colored flowers and not being able to find them. Now, they seem to be everywhere and for longer and longer periods of time. When I encountered little pint baskets full of them at Olney's Farmers' Market last week, I knew I had to buy them, but also knew I didn't want to stuff and fry them like I usually do (I'm making a concerted effort to be a little healthier). A little experimentation was in order.I had a home made Millenium Falco pizza in the works (a la Roberta's Cookbook) and since it uses only a small amount of Parmesan cheese, not the usual pizza cheese-fest you're likely thinking of, I thought stuffing the zucchini flowers with a ricotta and goat cheese mixture would be the perfect, if slightly unusual, accompaniment. I found the result delicious, fresh, and creamy. The raw zucchini flowers are slightly herby tasting, crunchy from the stem, delightfully summery. You could really stuff them with any cheese combination you want - Burrata or Mozzarella would be delicious, as would goat curd. I thought the fresh goat cheese mixed with ricotta added the perfect amount of sharpness without it overtaking the fragile freshness of the blossoms.These would make an elegant accompaniment to cocktails before dinner, simply serve the blossoms on crostini (I'd advise cutting them in half if they're on the larger size).  I'd love to know what other ways you guys are using this pretty summer treat! Please share any favorites you have in the comments section below.Stuffed Raw Zucchini BlossomsIMG_5290makes 2424 zucchini blossoms1/3  cup ricotta3 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature1 tablespoon chives, choppedzest of one lemonsalt and pepper to tastehoney for drizzling24 crostini, if using for hors d'oeuvresIn a mixing bowl combine the ricotta, goat cheese, chives, and lemon zest until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the mixture into a piping bag or a plastic storage bag, cut off one corner when you're ready to serve.  Pipe the cheese mixture into the zucchini blossoms, arrange on a platter (or on top of the crostini) and drizzle the platter with honey and a little more black pepper on top.