Fried Zucchini Flowers

Fried Zucchini Flowers
Staff Writer
Fried Zucchini Flowers

William Lingwood

Fried Zucchini Flowers

As Beppino always loved to show me, both the female and the male zucchini produce flowers and they are easy to distinguish. The male flower is at the end of a long stalk, which is attached to the stem of the plant, whereas the female flower is attached to the courgette itself. Male flowers are easier to use in this recipe, as you can hold the stalk while you dip the flower in the batter, but both types taste equally delicious. In either case, check the flowers on the inside for bugs before starting, and always remove the pistil, which tastes bitter.

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Ingredients

For the batter

  • egg
  • 2  Tablespoons  plain white flour
  • 2/3  Cups  milk, or half milk and half water mixed together

For the zucchini flowers

  • 2 1/2  Cups  scant sunflower oil
  • 12-16  zucchini flowers, pistils removed
  • 4-5  Tablespoons  ricotta or 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 4-inch cubes (optional)
  • 6-8  anchovy fillets in oil, drained and cut into 1/4-inch lengths (optional)
  • Sea salt, to taste

Directions

For the batter

Separate the egg into 2 bowls, then cover and chill the egg white. Beat together the egg yolk, flour, and milk in a mixing bowl to make a smooth paste. In the other bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff, then fold it into the egg yolk batter.

For the zucchini flowers

Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat until a small cube of bread dropped into the oil sizzles instantly.

Meanwhile, if filling the flowers, tuck 1 teaspoon of the ricotta (or a piece of mozzarella) and a piece of anchovy into each zucchini flower. Holding the flowers by their stalks or ends, carefully dip them into the batter to coat thoroughly. If the flowers have been stuffed, fold down the petals of each flower and use the batter to secure the filling in place.

Working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, carefully lower the batter-coated flowers into the hot oil. Fry, turning frequently, until crisp and golden all over, for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper. Serve the fried flowers sprinkled with a little salt.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
66g
94%
Sugar
7g
8%
Saturated Fat
10g
42%
Cholesterol
6mg
2%
Carbohydrate, by difference
35g
27%
Protein
29g
63%
Vitamin A, RAE
49µg
7%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
2mg
3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
4µg
4%
Calcium, Ca
239mg
24%
Choline, total
81mg
19%
Copper, Cu
2mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
13g
52%
Folate, total
297µg
74%
Iron, Fe
5mg
28%
Magnesium, Mg
171mg
53%
Manganese, Mn
3mg
100%
Niacin
5mg
36%
Pantothenic acid
9mg
100%
Phosphorus, P
1608mg
100%
Selenium, Se
102µg
100%
Sodium, Na
1140mg
76%
Water
45g
2%
Zinc, Zn
7mg
88%

Fried Zucchini Shopping Tip

Buy zucchini that is intact and has glossy skin. Avoid zucchini with brown or soft spots.

Fried Zucchini Cooking Tip

Zucchini has a very high water content, lightly salt your zucchini prior to cooking so your dish does not become to watery.