"Zucchini flowers are always served as a starter with a dollop of sheep's milk yoghurt in Crete, where they're picked first thing in the morning before the petals close," says John Rerakis.
- 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 250 ml tomato passata (1 cup)
- ½ cup (firmly packed) each dill and mint, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 200 gm long-grain rice (1 cup)
- 30 zucchini flowers, stamens removed
- 1Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and stir occasionally until tender (2-3 minutes). Add passata, herbs and cumin, season to taste and bring to the boil. Add rice, stir to combine, remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- 2Preheat oven to 170C. Carefully open petals of a zucchini flower and place a teaspoon of rice mixture inside, taking care not to tear the petals, then twist tops of petals to enclose. Repeat with remaining zucchini flowers and rice mixture. Place in a single layer in a large lightly oiled roasting pan, season generously to taste and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Add enough water to come one-third up zucchini flowers and bake until just tender (20-25 minutes). Serve hot scattered with extra dill and mint.