Parent-and-Child Salad

Early in the morning, right before my Toriniku (chicken meat in Japanese) Experience cooking class, I picked up freshly cut zucchini and cucumber flowers at April’s Livin’ Organics farm (@livin’organics). On the way back to my kitchen, I was thinking about the class that was to start in half an hour and about the best way to cook my treasure — beautiful golden flowers.

Zucchini Flowers
Zucchini Flowers

In my mind, I was going through the steps of making Oyakodon, one of the recipes for the class. Then my thoughts switched to the flowers, and I decided their recipe must be as simple as the ones for the Japanese chicken dishes I am about to teach. I wanted flowers stuffed, but the stuffing should’ve been smart and symbolic. That’s how Daughters-Mothers was born.

    Oyakodon 親子丼, literally “parent-and-child donburi”, is a donburi, or Japanese rice bowl dish, in which chicken, egg, sliced scallion (or sometimes regular onions), and other ingredients are all simmered together in a kind of soup which is made with soy sauce and stock, and then served on top of a large bowl of rice. The name of the dish is a poetic reflection of the fact that both chicken and egg are used in the dish. — wiki source

What can be smarter than using related ingredients in the same dish? I wanted to write my super simple zucchini pancakes recipe for ages. Now, I can combine the two with a beautiful dish presentation using what I’ve got from the Livin’ Organics farm — radish microgreens, pea shoots, nasturtium leaves, and cucumber and garlicky chives edible flowers.

Daughters and Mothers: Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Zucchini
Daughters and Mothers: Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Zucchini

It is the season for zucchini, summer squash, and cucumber flowers. If you see them on Farmers Market and want to, but don’t know how to turn them into a beautiful and healthy dish, this recipe is for you! Note, that stuffing part can be used as a recipe for humble zucchini pancakes when the flowers are not available anymore.

Дочки-Матери | Dochki-Materi | Daughters-Mothers

The name of the recipe is the name of the House game in Russian. It’s interesting that in the case of zucchini, I see layers and layers of symbolism in flowers stuffed with fruit. I find it funny that standing stuffed flowers look like dolls. It feels like all pieces of the puzzle came together.

Daughters-Mothers | Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Zucchini

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish, Salad
Cuisine: American, Eastern European, European
Keyword: edible flowers, greens, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, pancake, salad, steamed, vegetables, zucchini
Servings: 2 portions


main ingredients

  • 6 each zucchini flowers @Livin'Organics
  • 1 each zucchini 5 oz
  • 1 each egg @TerraPurezza
  • 1 tbsp wheat flour All-purpose, King Arthur
  • 0.25 tsp seas salt
  • 2 tbsp fennel greens @Livin'Organics
  • 1 tbsp green garlic @Food_Forest_TX
  • 1 pinch black pepper freshly ground, adjust to taste
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

(optional) ingredients for plating

  • 6 each cucumber flowers @Livin'Organics
  • 6 each garlicky chives flowers
  • 6 each nasturtium leaves @Livin'Organics
  • 1 oz ramps pesto
  • 1 oz radish micro greens @Livin'Organics
  • 1 oz pea shoots @Livin'Organics


  • April taught me that squash, zucchini, and cucumber flowers are open for a few hours in the morning. Then they close for the rest of the day. Get them freshly cut in the morning of the same day.
  • Wash zucchini and grate it.
    Grated/julienned zucchini
  • Finely chop fennel greens and green garlic. In a small bowl, place — but do not mix yet! — all the ingredients for the stuffing — grated zucchini, finely chopped garlic and fennel, egg, flour, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. You want the salt to contact your grated vegetables as close to the moment you are ready to cook them as possible. Otherwise, the salt will draw the water from the vegetables and the mix will become watery.
    Zucchini flower stuffing ingredients
  • In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp avocado oil over medium heat. You are going to use this pan for frying and steaming, so it has to have a lid to contain the steam. Have 50-60ml water handy.
  • When the frying pan is hot, combine all stuffing ingredients. Fill the flowers with the mix one by one placing stem up, stuffing down on the frying pan. Each flower will fit for about 1.5 tbsp of the mixture. When all the flowers are in the pan, add water and cover with a lid. Let steam for 5 minutes.
  • To serve stuffed flowers, spread 1.5 tsp of pesto on the bottom of each plate, arrange three flowers per portion, and decorate with edible flowers, nasturtium leaves, and micro greens. Enjoy!
    Daughters and Mothers: Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Zucchini
Daughters and Mothers: Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Zucchini