Zucchini blossoms are the delicate and colorful part of an immature zucchini plant. In Italy they are a summertime favorite and can be find at most markets and produce stands.
There are many different ways to prepare the blossoms, which are favorites in a number of different cuisines. In Greece, the blossoms are stuffed with feta, rice or meat and baked in tomato sauce. In Mexico, where they are called flores de calabaza, they can be served in quesadillas. In Turkey and Ottoman Empire cuisines, they tend to be part of the Dolma family of stuffed vegetable dishes. This manner of cooking is also common in Italy, where stuffing vegetables and other foods is called Ripieno.
With a subtle flavour and creamy texture, the blossoms can also be eaten raw in salads or stuffed with cheese, as well as lightly fried in batter. This latter option, popular with many an Italian mamma, is what we chose to do after spotting this batch of gorgeous blossoms being sold on the street in Porto Rotondo, Sardinia.
Raw Zucchini Blossoms
Once again, the measurement are going to be approximate as everything done in the Italian’s mother’s kitchen is by eye!
Fiori di Zucca Fritti (Fried Zucchini Blossoms)
10 or 20 Zucchini blossoms
One large egg
Canola oil for frying
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk or sparkling water
2 pinches of salt
Remove the stem and the stamen (pollen producing part of flower) from the center of each blossom. Gently wash with cold water and pat dry the blossoms.
Place cooking oil in pan and heat over high gas.
Beat egg and sift in flour and salt slowly until the batter is thickish. Add 1/2 cup of milk or sparkling water (the sparkling water is said to add lightness to the batter.)
Coat each flower in the batter and place in the hot oil until all sides are golden brown.
Remove and pat blossoms with paper towel to soak up excess oil.
Sprinkle extra salt and pepper if desired.
NOTE: This recipe can also be done by placing some cheese inside the blossom, such as Mozzarella or Ricotta. Just make sure if they are stuffed the petals are twisted closed before frying!