An elegant summer recipe from world 3 Michelin-starred chef Eric Ripert, these delicate crab stuffed zucchini flowers are filled are finished with black truffles.
Fresh squash blossoms/zucchini flowers are stuffed with crab meat and then steamed to create an elevated appetizer. These summery morsels are laced with black truffles for a truly elegant finish.
Squash blossoms are best cooked the day they are picked. Here is some interesting info on telling the difference between male and female blossoms in case you're picking your own.
This recipe comes from Eric Ripert, seafood master extraordinaire, in a cookbook entitled Harvest to Heat featuring some of the country's best chefs (including a couple from the Ocean State!), and local farmers. Ripert actually shares a similar recipe in his cookbook Avec Eric as well, but that one lacks truffles and instead features mustard.
I decided to halve the recipe (although I will share the complete version below), but still had extra crab filling left over even with an extra squash blossom to stuff (perhaps my blossoms aren't quite as large as Ripert's).
Squash blossoms have never been treated so well. The filling contains lump crab meat and homemade truffle butter. The blossoms are then stuffed and steamed.
Meanwhile, more of the truffle butter is drizzled on each plate. Then a truffle and Dijon vinaigrette is drizzled atop the steamed crab stuffed squash blossoms. It's finished with a sprinkle of chives.
As much as I love cheese-stuffed-deep-fried zucchini flowers, they can't hold a candle to these much more delicate and fresh-tasting ones.
The crab flavor really shines. I stuffed each probably past their capacity, plus the lump pieces of crab were very large and nearly exploded out of the flowers. The truffles give them an extraordinary edge.
A tiny bit of acid in the vinaigrette rounds out this combination rich (hello, butter) yet light appetizer. Happy summer.
Other recipes you may like
- Maryland Style Old Bay Crab Cakes
- Crab Stuffed Shells with Orange-Scented Tomato Sauce
- Crab and Brie Chowder
- Classic New England Lobster Rolls
- Lobster Cakes
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Crab-Stuffed Zucchini Flowers with Black Truffles
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ ounce fresh black truffle shaved with a mandoline, or chopped canned black truffles
- Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tablespoon chopped black truffle fresh or canned, with juice if using canned
- Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
- ½ pound peekytoe crab meat cleaned
- 4 ounces lump crab meat cleaned (I used all lump crab meat because I couldn’t procure peekytoe crab)
- Coarse salt
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- 12 large zucchini flowers stamens removed and brushed clean
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives finely chopped for garnish
- Make the truffle butter: In a small saucepan, bring 1 tablespoon water to a boil and whisk in the butter. Add the truffle and mix until incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and keep warm over low heat. (My sauce actually broke several times until I finished the dish–it was first used in the crab filling and again for plating. If your sauce breaks, whisk in a few drops of warm water at a time until it re-emulsifies).
- Make the truffle vinaigrette: Combine the mustard and both vinegars in a bowl and drizzle in the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking to incorporate. Add the chopped truffle and the truffle juice if using canned and whisk until just blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the filling: Combine both crab meats and ¼ cup of the truffle butter. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
- Prepare the zucchini flowers: Have ready a bamboo steamer or lightly grease a steamer basket. Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water.
- Using a teaspoon, gently stuff each zucchini flower three-quarters full with the crab meat filling, then gently twist the top of the flower closed. Arrange the stuffed zucchini flowers in the steamer basket; lay them flat even if piled on top of each other. Place the basket in the pot (or over it if it’s a bamboo steamer); cover and steam until the crab filling is hot, about 3 minutes.
- To serve: Equally portion the remaining ¼ cup truffle butter among 4 plates and carefully arrange 3 steamed zucchini flowers on top. Spoon the truffle vinaigrette around the zucchini flowers and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*