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Zucchini Blossoms

Sep 14, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

There’s a reason I can’t offer a photo of these exquisite fried blossoms: I couldn’t stop eating them to photograph them they were that compellingly delicious!

I’ve been wanting to try this dish for years and every year the season passed before I got to it. Now it will become an annual tradition.

The delicate blossoms puff up in the hot oil and obtain a fine crispy crust from the light batter while remaining slightly plush and moist inside. They have a surprisingly fresh and lovely aromatic flavor faintly reminiscent of the vegetable itself. And they’re quite quick and easy to prepare.

I love to use Wondra flour for the batter as it mixes so readily with the water and forms the most delicate coating.

First inspect each blossom by carefully opening it to ensure that there are no bugs hiding inside. Then rinse them quickly in a colander and pat them dry.

To prepare the blossoms:

In a small deep skillet, heat about an inch of oil such as corn oil, peanut oil, or high heat canola oil, until very hot—365 to 375°F.

While the oil is heating, whisk 1/2 cup of Wondra flour into 1/2 cup water to obtain a thin creamy batter. Whisk in a pinch of salt and 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and stir in one ice cube.

When the oil is hot enough, take a blossom by its stem, dip it in the batter, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl. Drop the coated blossom into the hot oil. Quickly continue with two or three more blossoms without crowding them in the pan. They will sizzle and puff up. Fry for several seconds until crisp and starting to turn golden. Remove the blossoms gently with tongs or a slotted spoon to a rack covered with paper towels. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and eat at once or keep warm in a low oven with the door propped slightly ajar.

Continue with remaining batches.

Comments

i love that term "honking huge zucchini"!

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Anonymous is right, most squash and zucchini vines bear two types of flowers, male and female. The female ones are right up against the main vine, while the male ones are on long stems. So you can go ahead and pick almost all the male ones & still end up with too much zucchini! Of course, you could pick the female ones too...I like to wait until they're at the "baby zucchini with flower still attached stage," though. So cute, and it spares you from all those big honking huge zucchini that no-one wants.

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you do not pick flowers from the fruit
you pick the flowers from the stem of plant. stem does not bear fruit.

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You need to try fettucine ai fiori di zucca!

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thanks letty--i read somewhere that club soda makes it puff even more! and i love rice flour--very fine and crisp--but blogger beware--it turns rancid much more quickly than wheat flour so store it in the freezer.

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Hi Rose,
and the Mexicans make quesadillas with flor de calabacitas. I make a fabulous squash blossom soup and when I am feeling decadent I make the deep fried ones, sometimes stuffed with a rice and diced zucchini and cilantro mixture. My batter is 1 cup rice flour, 1 cup club soda and one egg--very light.
Letty

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you're right reeni--the common complaint is "what to do with all that zucchini"!

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I remember we had a neighbor who had a zucchini crop that threatened to overtake everything. He would practically beg us to take them off his hands and my mom and I would make zucchini bread (yes, from the Cake Bible!). He could have done a lot more flower harvesting!

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that's so interesting anna--i thought it was only an italian tradition but after all the mediterranean countries share a lot of traditions. the reason the farmer looked so shocked i'm sure is bc every blossom he harvests could have been a whole zucchini for which he would have earned more money!

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My hubby is from Greece and his mother does this dish all the time. Imagine the strange looks I got at my local NC farmer's market when I asked one of the farmers to please save the blossoms for me and I would purchase them? When I told him of this practice of frying them, he looked at me like I was nuts. He did save some blossoms for me one time only... Anna

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