Stuffed courgette flowers

Stuffed courgette flowers

Kabak çiçeği dolması

Eat Istanbul
David Loftus

In the summer months, farmers bring in their just-picked courgette flowers to the city’s markets and greengrocers. They are soon bought, as they’re a favourite vehicle for rice and herb stuffings and perfect as a simple vegetarian lunch or supper.


Quantity Ingredient
3 ripe, medium tomatoes
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
6 spring onions, finely chopped, including green stems
1 tablespoon dried mint
130g long-grain white rice, washed
3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh dill fronds, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
12 fresh or brined vine leaves, washed
24 large courgette flowers, washed
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Use a box grater to coarsely grate the tomatoes into a bowl. Discard as many bits of tomato skin as possible.
  2. Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic, spring onions and dried mint for 3–5 minutes until softened. Add the rice, tomatoes, fresh mint, dill and sugar and sauté for a few more minutes. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir the mixture well. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Carefully stuff each courgette flower with a tablespoon of the rice stuffing, or more if the flowers are large. Do not overstuff them otherwise they will split as the rice expands when cooking. Fold the sides of each courgette flower over the stuffing as if wrapping a package.
  4. Line the base of a large saucepan with the vine leaves to stop the flowers from sticking to the pan. Place the stuffed courgette flowers in circles in the pan, making sure they are tightly packed. Add enough water to just cover them and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Place a heatproof plate on top, weighted down to keep the flowers submerged. Simmer over low heat for 20–30 minutes until the rice stuffing is cooked through.
  5. Remove from the heat and leave the flowers to cool before removing the weighted plate. Place a large plate over the saucepan and carefully invert the courgette flowers onto the plate. Discard the vine leaves and serve the stuffed courgette flowers warm or cold.
Turkish food
Middle Eastern
Andy Harris
David Loftus
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