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Zucchini Blossoms

Fried Zucchini Blossom

Before I traveled to Italy, I had no idea what a fried zucchini blossom was.

I was raised by a mother who grew, sliced, breaded and fried zucchini so much, it seemed like she was making a living from it and getting paid by the slice.  Seriously, It seemed like her full-time job.  As a result, I grew up hating zucchini.

The thought of anything zucchini related really turned my stomach. Except zucchini bread, which if made properly, tastes of sweet cake with not even a hint of zucchini flavor.

But as they say….when in Rome.

And it was in Rome where we sat al fresco at a little neighborhood trattoria on the Piazza Farnese, enjoying a glass of ice cold Frascati, when our cameriere informed us that fried zucchini blossoms were a special delicacy on the menu that evening.

How could I possibly disappoint the adorable waiter?  We decided to indulge.

And though I can’t remember if they were stuffed or plain, I do remember one thing….I was so completely hooked.

As luck would have it, I was able to score a dozen blossoms at my local farmer’s market today.

Zucchini Blossoms

For the life of me I can’t understand why they sell them sealed up tight in a plastic zip-loc bag, with the heat and humidity taking its toll and wilting them beyond repair. It is beyond my comprehension.

Subsequently, I had the impossible task of trying to clean, stuff and fry them, without shredding them into a pile of slimy orange mush.

But, beggars can’t be choosers.  I decided to give it my best shot!

There are thousands of variations on the recipe.  Some batters have egg, some do not.  Some stuff the insides, others fry them as-is.

Here is my quick and easy recipe for Fried Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms.

Filling:

ricotta cheese
minced chives
finely chopped parsley
salt
freshly ground black pepper
nutmeg

Batter:

3/4 cup flour
1 cup cold club soda
pinch of salt

Prepare the flowers.  Clean out any dirt or insects from the inside of flowers.  I leave the stamen in, but it is personal preference.  I suppose if my flowers were just hand picked and I could easily retrieve them, I would take them out.  Gently rinse in a colander and pat dry on towels.  Cut stems to 1 inch.

Fill a heavy bottom cast iron frying pan with vegetable oil, about 1 inch deep. Heat to 360-365 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Put a good amount of ricotta in a bowl.  Add remainder of filling ingredients to taste.  Mix well.  Fill a zip-lock back with mixture.  Snip off a small piece of the corner.  Slowly and gently, squeeze a small amount of filling into each flower (don’t overfill) and twist ends of flower to close.  Place each on a plate.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, club soda and salt until combined.  Add more club soda to thin if needed and form a thin crepe batter.

When oil is at the desired temperature, dip each flower into the batter. Coat completely.  Let excess batter drain off and place gently into the hot oil.  Repeat with each flower.  Work in small batches of 3-4 at a time.  No more than that in the pan, or the oil temp will drop too much.

Let each flower fry 30- 60 seconds and then turn with a wire spider.  Fry on the other side until golden.  Remove with the wire spider to a plate lined with paper towels.

Season each with additional salt.  Continue until all flowers have been fried.  Serve immediately.

Blossom

Another interesting variation for the filling that I have tried is to stuff them with a slice of mozzarella and a whole basil leaf.  That is wonderful, especially when served with some marinara for dipping.

Blossom

Buon Appetito!

Are you a foodie heading to Rome?  Perhaps you would be interested in a custom foodie adventure or culinary tour.

  • User Gravatar
    joanne at frutto della passione
    July 21st, 2008

    I love these so much my husband gets jealous! The blossoms may not have been perfect, but the final product looks great!

  • User Gravatar
    LuLu
    July 21st, 2008

    Fried Zucchini Blossoms are SO yummy! My family doesn’t stuff them but I might just give it a try.

  • User Gravatar
    janiej
    July 21st, 2008

    One of my absolute favorites! I’m lucky to have a farm stand right down the street that sell the blossoms.

  • User Gravatar
    My Mélange
    July 21st, 2008

    Joanne~ Considering what I had to work with- I agree, they come out pretty darn good ;)
    LuLu~ They are great plain or stuffed. Stuffed is just an extra little burst of goodness..try it!
    Janie~ You are a lucky girl! Hmmm, how much would you charge for shipping???? ;)

  • User Gravatar
    erin :: the olive notes
    July 21st, 2008

    YUM YUM YUM! Save me some of those! They look absolutely delicious!

  • User Gravatar
    michelle of bleeding espresso
    July 21st, 2008

    You know I love these; my recipe is here:
    http://bleedingespresso.com/20.....crudo.html :)

  • User Gravatar
    Ice Tea For Me
    July 21st, 2008

    I hadn’t tasted these lovely delicate wonders until my 3rd trip to Italy. They weren’t filled but they were tasty on their own, I can only imagine what they’d be with some ricotta.
    I’ve never seen them in any of the stores around me but I keep looking.

  • User Gravatar
    My Mélange
    July 21st, 2008

    Erin~ Certo :) Bring some vino rosso over with you and it’s a date!!
    Michelle~ Mmmm. Yours look great too! I have a vegamatarium in the house, so those will have to be a special treat just for me ;)
    Ms. Tea~ Yes, they are tasty treats either way!! Let me know if you find them anywhere ;)

  • User Gravatar
    Merisi
    July 24th, 2008

    Oh, I know exactly where you had those zucchini blossoms (I lived once just a stone’s throw from there, on Via del Monte della Farina)! :-)
    You can also simply fill the blossoms with a mozzarella, cut into pencil-thick sticks, and good quality anchovy filets (quantity to taste). Flatten the filled blossoms with your hand, dredge them in flour on both sides (or sieve flour over them).
    Beat eggs with a fork just until the yolk and the white are mixed. Dip each side of the blossom into the egg mixture.
    Pan-fry with a little olive oil, turning them once, til the egg has settled.
    Best eaten right out of the pan!
    Bon appetito! :-)

  • User Gravatar
    Cherrye at My Bella Vita
    September 26th, 2008

    These look too hard to make. Will you come over and bring me some??

  • User Gravatar
    Shredders
    October 29th, 2008

    very well done .I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog . It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really belive you will do much better in the future . Good job web master .
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  • User Gravatar
    Lisa at Wanderlust Women
    June 29th, 2011

    My nonnas would always make them in a frittata with lots of locatelli cheese but I discovered the stuffed ones in Sorrento and tried to remake them at home. The trick to the whole thing is making sure you sift the ricotta prior to making the filling so that you squeeze out the water….otherwise they won’t fry properly :(

    Hmm, I didn’t sift my ricotta and mine seemed fine, Lisa – but hey, we didn’t invite any credentialed Italian chefs over to judge them either ;) Stuffing with a harder cheese might be a bit easier though!

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    Toni Reale
    August 11th, 2011

    I enjoyed this recipe & your comments. Like you I grew up with a mother who cooked zucchini a lot, but she cooked it until it gave up the ghost! Then to add insult to injury she put it into lentil soup, which got stuck in my throat.
    But my grandmother on the other hand made fried & stuffed flowers all summer. She has been gone a long time & this brought back wonderful memories of my grandmther’s garden
    Thank you.

  • User Gravatar
    Denise
    August 8th, 2012

    Looks yummy even at 7AM! When people see how many zucchini plants I have in my garden they say ‘how do you eat all those ucchini……i tell them it’s for the blossoms!’ I learned to make these in a cooking class in Rome where we stuffed them with sticks of mozzarella and anchovies. The anchovies add just the right amount of saltiness.

    That’s a great combo Denise. I’m not a huge anchovy fan, but my husband would scoff those down in a heartbeat! ;)

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