Çiçek Dolmasi (Stuffed Marrow Flowers)

This very special dish of stuffed marrow flowers takes great care to prepare and has a delicate flavour. Cicek dolmasi is a favourite with Turkish Cypriots during the summer months when marrow flowers are in season. The flowers are collected early in the morning, the stems and pistils removed and then they are gently washed and dried. They can be either vegetarian when stuffed with cooked rice, onion and tomato or for meat eaters when filled with spicy ground meat. Delicate handling is needed as the flowers are stuffed, the petals folded in and then gently rested against one another in a pan containing a small amount of olive oil and water. The flowers are cooked over a gentle heat for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked. They look so beautiful and bring grace to any table.