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Pan-Fried Zucchini Flowers


Pan-Fried Zucchini Flowers

Every summer, I look forward to certain vegetables and fruits that cannot be bought at any other time of the year. Zucchini flowers are one such treat! I love them so much that this year I decided to plant zucchini next to my herb garden just to harvest the flowers. Unfortunately, our neighborhood’s very fat and happy groundhog thought it was a good idea, too! He has eaten most of my plants, leaving me only sad leafless stems. So I guess I’ll be heading back to my farmers market for them all summer long…

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For the batter

  • 1 Cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 Cups warm water

For the flowers

  • 2 large eggs, preferably organic
  • 1 Cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped mixed garden herbs (such as Italian parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, and/or sage)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 16 large or 20 small zucchini flowers
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil, for pan-frying (or enough oil to cover the pan generously)


For the batter

Mix the flour, salt, and water together in a large bowl. Set aside and let stand for 1 hour.

For the flowers

To make the stuffing, in a bowl, lightly beat 1 of the eggs, and mix in the ricotta, shallot, herbs, and salt until well blended. Season with pepper, to taste, and set aside.

To stuff the flowers, make a slit lengthwise in each flower and remove the stamen. Using a dessert spoon, place a small amount of the stuffing at the base of each flower and twist the petals so that the stuffing is held safely inside the flower. Place on a baking sheet.

Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, whisk the remaining egg into the batter, dip each flower in the batter, and add them to the pan.

Sauté until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the flowers and continue to sauté until golden, about 1-2 minutes. Repeat until all of the flowers have been used, reducing the heat to medium-high when the pan is very hot so the oil doesn’t burn.

To serve, overlap 4-6 flowers in the center of each plate and serve immediately.*