Mozzarella & Barley-Stuffed Zucchini with Crispy Squash Blossoms

Mozzarella & Barley-Stuffed Zucchini

with Crispy Squash Blossoms

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Summer is the perfect time for squash. And while we love the juicy, tender zucchini, that’s not the only part of the plant that’s edible. The vegetable’s flowers are gorgeous and full of flavor. Here, we’re lightly battering the flowers and frying them as a topping for zucchini stuffed with earthy barley, fresh mozzarella and Kalamata olives. The delicately crunchy squash blossoms are perfectly pretty and incredibly delicious.

See Plans
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Mozzarella & Barley-Stuffed Zucchini with Crispy Squash Blossoms
Title
  • ½ cup Pearled Barley
  • 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 Squash Blossoms
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Zucchinis
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 large bunch Parsley
  • 1 oz Kalamata Olives
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ cup Rice Flour
time-saving
tips & techniques
Cook the barley:
1 Cook the barley:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the barley and cook 25 to 27 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the barley cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Tear the mozzarella into small pieces. Remove and discard the stems of the squash blossoms; tear lengthwise into thirds. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Halve the zucchinis lengthwise; scoop out and discard the interiors, leaving a ¼-inch-thick shell. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the pith; mince to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and small dice the onion. Pick the parsley off the stems. Smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop the olives.

Cook the aromatics & make the filling:
3 Cook the aromatics & make the filling:

While the barley continues to cook, in a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cooked barley, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, olives, lemon zest and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pot.

Stuff & roast the zucchinis:
4 Stuff & roast the zucchinis:

Place the zucchinis on a clean work surface, cut sides up; season with salt and pepper. Using a spoon, fill each zucchini half with as much of the filling as possible (reserve any remaining filling for later). Transfer to a sheet pan and roast in the oven 14 to 16 minutes, or until the mozzarella cheese is melted and lightly browned and the zucchinis are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

Coat & fry the squash blossoms:
5 Coat & fry the squash blossoms:

While the zucchinis roast, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, a big pinch of salt and ¼ cup of water. In the same pot, heat a ¼-inch layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Coat the squash blossoms in the batter (letting any excess drip off). Once hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles when added to the pot, add the coated squash blossoms. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; season with salt.

Plate your dish:
6 Plate your dish:

Divide the roasted zucchinis and any remaining filling between 2 dishes. Garnish with the parsley and fried squash blossoms. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Cook the barley:
1 Cook the barley:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the barley and cook 25 to 27 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the barley cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Tear the mozzarella into small pieces. Remove and discard the stems of the squash blossoms; tear lengthwise into thirds. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Halve the zucchinis lengthwise; scoop out and discard the interiors, leaving a ¼-inch-thick shell. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the pith; mince to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and small dice the onion. Pick the parsley off the stems. Smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop the olives.

Cook the aromatics & make the filling:
3 Cook the aromatics & make the filling:

While the barley continues to cook, in a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cooked barley, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, olives, lemon zest and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pot.

4 Stuff & roast the zucchinis:

Place the zucchinis on a clean work surface, cut sides up; season with salt and pepper. Using a spoon, fill each zucchini half with as much of the filling as possible (reserve any remaining filling for later). Transfer to a sheet pan and roast in the oven 14 to 16 minutes, or until the mozzarella cheese is melted and lightly browned and the zucchinis are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

Stuff & roast the zucchinis:
Coat & fry the squash blossoms:
5 Coat & fry the squash blossoms:

While the zucchinis roast, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, a big pinch of salt and ¼ cup of water. In the same pot, heat a ¼-inch layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Coat the squash blossoms in the batter (letting any excess drip off). Once hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles when added to the pot, add the coated squash blossoms. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; season with salt.

6 Plate your dish:

Divide the roasted zucchinis and any remaining filling between 2 dishes. Garnish with the parsley and fried squash blossoms. Enjoy!

Plate your dish:
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