Zucchini Blossoms

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.