Summer Delight – Fried Zucchini Flowers

 

Photo Jul 08, 4 55 59 PM ZUCCHINI FLOWERS

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone, 

This time of year is an extra special time in the garden for Italian moms and grandmothers. If you were born into an Italian family, you know what I am talking about- zucchini flower (or squash blossom) time.

The zucchini flowers are the edible flower of the zucchini plant and are a beautiful shade of orange and yellow. They are very delicate and taste somewhat like a zucchini.

Honestly,  it’s very hard to describe their exact flavor except for the word “delicious”.

When I was a child my parent’s garden had every vegetable you could imagine and I remember my grandmother going outside early in the morning to pick the zucchini flowers while the blossoms were open. Grandma would gather enough flowers to make a zucchini flower and egg frittata for breakfast and have some leftover to batter and fry for lunch. 

There are so many ways to enjoy zucchini flowers. Battered and fried with or without stuffing, on a pizza, in a frittata, made into fritters, in pasta, in risotto, eaten raw in a salad, and even a zucchini blossom soup.

Before you start picking flowers, here is a little information you should know.

Each plant has male and female flowers and the male flowers are the only flowers you pick. The male flowers are only on the plant to fertilize and will never produce a zucchini. They are grown on stalks and are identified by their long thin stem.

MALE ZUCCHINI FLOWER

The female flowers grow more toward the center of the plant and are attached to a small zucchini. Leave the female flowers to produce a zucchini.

FEMALE ZUCCHINI FLOWER

The flowers are very delicate and taste best if you make them the day they are picked. You have to gently open the petals and check for bugs, remove the stamen and then gently wash the flowers and let them dry before you can use them in any recipe.

If you have never tried zucchini flowers, I strongly suggest that you do.

If you don’t have a garden with a zucchini plant, don’t worry, check your local farm stands or specialty grocer.

If that isn’t available, many Italian restaurants have this dish as an appetizer this time of year.

 They are a great crispy summertime treat.

(Fiori di Zucca Fritti).

*******************************

Today I am posting two recipes that I use to make these blossoms. 

Stuffed zucchini flowers with my tweaks (or course I couldn’t leave the recipe as is) . I stuffed them with a combination of ricotta, mozzarella, basil, parsley, locatelli cheese and prosciutto di Parma.

AND

  Just battered and fried.

**************************************

My stuffed zucchini flowers…

Photo Jul 09, 2 50 18 AM FRIED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS

My plain battered and fried zucchini flowers…

Photo Jul 17, 2 42 48 PM PLAIN AND FRIED ZUCCHINI

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Recipes

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

For 12 Flowers

By Diane K.

Stuffing ingredients: 

1 cup ricotta

1/2 cup Shredded mozzarella

3-4 tbsp Grated Locatelli cheese- or your choice of cheese

1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil

1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2 tsp milk

Salt and pepper

Diced prosciutto de Parma (optional)

 Batter ingredients:

½ cup AP flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

1 cup beer  (or club soda)

Directions:

For stuffing:

In a small bowl combine the ricotta, mozzarella, locatelli, parsley, basil, garlic powder, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and diced prosciutto. Mix until smooth. Taste for seasonings.

 For batter:

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Gradually add 1 cup beer, whisking until batter is smooth and the consistency of pancake batter.

Set aside for 10-20 minutes

Procedure:

Cut the stems to one inch

Remove the sepals from the base (green pointy leaves that protect the flower bud at the base of the flower).

sepals-and-stems- zucchini blossoms

Open the flowers by gently spreading the petals and remove the stamens inside the flower. Be careful, watch out for bees.

zucchini stamen 2

Clean the flowers by gently running them under cold water (look for insects inside).

Make sure they are dry before you start the rest of the recipe. If there is water on the flowers, it will splatter once it hits the hot oil. 

Cook’s note: I dry them on a tea towel for at least a half hour.

Spoon 1-2 tbsp of the filling in each flower. Close the top by gently twisting the ends of the petal to seal in the filling.

Cook’s Note: a pastry bag or Ziploc bag with the corner cut off can also be used to stuff the flowers.

Heat  1- 1/2 inches of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. 

Cook’s Note: vegetable oil or peanut oil can also be used.

Dip the zucchini flower in the batter and let any excess batter drip off. Fry for 1-2 minutes per side, turning once until golden brown.

Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined cookie sheet to drain.

Sprinkle with either sea salt or grated cheese.

*******************************

Battered and Fried zucchini Flowers

Ingredients courtesy of My Italian Grandmother website.

Ingredients:

1 cup of AP flour

1 cup water or seltzer

2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Cut the stems to 1-inch

Remove the sepals from the base ( green pointy leaves that protect the flower bud at the base of the flower).

sepals-and-stems- zucchini blossoms

Open the flowers by gently spreading the petals and remove the stamens inside the flower.

zucchini stamen 2

Clean the flowers by gently running them under cold water and checking inside for any insects.

Make sure they are dry before you start the rest of the recipe. If there is water on the flowers, it will splatter once it hits the hot oil. 

Cook’s note: I dry them on a tea towel for at least a half hour.

In the meantime, prepare the batter. Add all ingredients together and mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat  1- 1/2 inches of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. 

Cook’s Note: vegetable oil or peanut oil can also be used.

Dip the zucchini flower in the batter and let any excess batter drip off. Fry for 1-2 minutes per side, turning once until golden brown.

Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined cookie sheet to drain.

Sprinkle with either sea salt or grated cheese.

*******************************

I hope you try either of these recipes and enjoy the summertime treat of fried zucchini flowers (Fiori di Zucca Fritti).

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!.

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog and please spread the word to join DishingwithDiane.com to your family and friends either via email or Facebook.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and e-mails. I LOVE hearing from you.

 

6 thoughts on “Summer Delight – Fried Zucchini Flowers

  1. Kimberly

    I love your blog and so look forward to each post. My husband is 100% Italian and enjoys all of your recipes (I believe you both have the same birthday, as well!).

    I hope you’ll be posting a tablescape soon-you have such a lovely sense of style! Love those salt and pepper shakers, too!

    Like

    Reply
  2. aries041158 Post author

    Thank you Kimberly, what a lovely compliment. I am glad your husband loves the recipes. Would your husband possibly come from Bari, Italy. That is where my recipes come from.
    I will definitely be posting more tablescape and I am so glad you enjoy them. I can be inspired by anything to set a table, so I never know when a tablescape idea will pop into my head.
    Thank you so much for reading the blog. It gives me great satisfaction to share my passion with others. I love the salt and peppers shakers too!

    Like

    Reply
  3. Cathy

    I am always amazed by your beautiful postings, your talent and your delicious recipes! You make your family proud! I just wish I lived closer to you to experience Dishing with Diane’s tasty recipes first hand! Love you, Cugina xoxo

    Like

    Reply

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