Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fried Zucchini Flowers

For those of you who like to have your own personal garden and grow summer vegetables, you probably have zucchini growing in it. Well for many of us who grew up in the Northeast, these summer gardens yielded some delicious veggies as well as bragging rights amongst your neighbors for the best tomato, eggplants, zucchini, etc.
As for the zucchini, the edible flower blossom that adourns one end, is another delicious endeavor in itself. Many Italian traditional recipes have them stuffed. One way, which is arguably the most popular and most delicious is dipping the flower in batter and frying the zucchini flower. The saltiness and the crunchiness of the batter compliments the sweetness of the flower itself.
Depending on the time of the year, these delicate flowers can be pricey or inexpensive. In South Florida, they can be obtained in boxes of about 100 flowers. If that is too much, get a couple of neighbors and share in this delicious item. Check with your local produce manager and inquire. They may not know what you are talking about, but if you are near a Doris Italian Market, come inquire because we KNOW what they are.
I am posting a basic recipe for Fried Zucchini Flowers that serves about six. Please keep in mind that these are very fragile vegetables and should be utilized the day they are bought.
  • The first step, of course, is getting the zucchini flowers. Once obtained, keep them in your refrigerator (crisper section) until ready to be used.
  • When ready, wash them gently, pat them dry and remove the pistils.
To make fried zucchini blossoms you'll need:
  • 18 zucchini blossoms
  • A pint (500 ml) whole milk, or a mixture of beer and milk
  • 3 heaping tablespoons flour
  • An egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt
  • Olive oil or lard, for frying
Prepare the batter by combining the milk (and beer), flour and egg. Heat the oil.
Lightly salt the zucchini blossoms, dredge them in the batter, fry them until golden, drain them on absorbent paper, and serve them hot.
If you haven't ever tried them, trust me, you will be hooked! You will not be able to stop eating them. I can probably eat 18 flowers with ease!
How do you like to prepare your zucchini flower? Share with us!

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