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Zucchini flowers were in great abundance in my garden this year. During the month of August, I picked flowers almost every morning. Because the plant was zucchino rampicante (yields very big zucchinis) the flowers were much bigger than the ones from regular zucchinis.   The male flowers are picked and cut with a long stem for easy handling.

The flowers are usually fried. Each region of Italy has its own preparation. The south tends to fry them as-is, while Tuscany typically stuffs and then fries.

The stuffing varies. Fillings may include fresh mozzarella and a basil leaf, ricotta and herbs, or perhaps an anchovy or slice of prosciutto. There are differences in the batter as well. Some use an egg and others find egg makes the batter too heavy for the delicate petals.

Experiment. Try different things. Because no matter which batter you use, which stuffing you choose or which way you fry them – you’ll be surprised how deliciously light and addictive they are!

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This is a quick and easy way to deep fry the flowers with no stuffing.

20 zucchini flowers

2 eggs

1/2 cup of herb mixture finely chopped

(I used parsley, basil, garlic, but you can add any herb you like)

salt

flour

breadcrumbs

extra virgin olive oil for frying

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With a dry dishtowel, gently brush off any dirt on the flower. Do not rinse with water. Check inside for any insects and shake them out.
 
Whisk the eggs in a bowl with ½ teaspoon of salt and half of the herb mixture.
 
Mix the flour and breadcrumbs together in a plate, in a ratio of 1 part of flour to 2 parts of crumbs and the rest of the herb mixture.

Dip the zucchini flowers in the egg wash and then in the crumb mixture.

Fry blossoms in a saucepan, 2 or 3 at a time, in 1 inch of hot (375°F) oil.
Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

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