Author Notes: There is not a more delicate, succulent, savory summer treat than the blossoms that arrive with young zucchini.
Zucchini blossoms are considered a delicacy in many part of the world. In Mexico, the flower is featured in sopa de flor de calabaza and quesadillas de flor de calabaza. The Greeks fill zucchini blossoms with feta, rice or meat and baked in tomato sauce. In Italy there are many different dishes that feature zucchini blossoms, but the best known is fiori di zuccca fritti, or batter-fried zucchini blossoms.
Summers in Italy, when the zucchini harvest is at its peak, there are more zucchini blossoms than one knows what to do with. Mothers and grandmothers gently fry them in their kitchens for their children and grandchildren, pizzerie and trattorie offer them as appetizers on their menus. The flower's mild zucchini flavor and creamy texture, offset by the light and crispy batter-fried exterior, is something you must experience to fully understand.
In Rome, fiori di zucca fritti has become one of the city's signature dishes. While the blossom is filled with different ingredients in different parts of Italy - ricotta or prosciutto di parma, for example - fiori di zucca fritti alla romana are filled with a single strip of mozzarella, and a thin anchovy. —DueSpaghetti
For the flowers
ovoline of fresh mozzarella (1 tub)
for the batter
- Remove the stem of the zucchini flowers. Carefully separate the petals of the golden blossoms and remove the stamen or pistils, as well.
- Wash the flowers carefully under cold water, and pat dry with a cotton cloth or paper towels.
- Cut the mozzarella into strips 1/4 inch wide. Slice the anchovies in half lengthwise.
- Carefully insert a strip of mozzarella and a halved anchovy into each flower.
- Close the blossoms around the mozzarella and anchovies and twist the ends carefully to keep the filling inside.
- Place ample vegetable oil into a deep frying pan and heat the oil over high gas.
- Prepare the batter by stirring together the water, egg and salt in shallow bowl, gradually sifting the flour into the water and mixing with a wire whisk. The batter should be moderately dense. You may add flour or water as needed until the batter reaches the consistency of your preference.
- Dip each flower into the batter, coating it completely, and place it carefully into the hot oil. Turn it gently until all sides have fried to a golden brown. Remove from oil and set on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb the extra oil If desired, sprinkle a dusting of salt over the fried zucchini flowers.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Fair Food