The summer is winding down but the garden is still pumping out zucchini flowers. My neighbor had a bumper crop after returning from vacation and she gave me a bunch this morning. As the Tuscans say “Even a slipper is good fried,” so I fried them up and managed to take a picture just before we devoured them for lunch! While the flowers themselves don’t have a lot of flavor, once batter dipped and fried in hot oil, they’re delicious!
Make a simple batter with flour, sea salt and white wine. The alcohol in the wine ties up the gluten in the flour and helps to add a nice crunch. We fry so much in Italy that there are special flours for an extra crunchy exterior. The ingredients include wheat and rice flour, baking soda and corn starch and it really does make the flowers so crunchy you can’t hear table conversation!
Use peanut oil to fry, it gets hottest without smoking. I generally add a little extra virgin olive oil for flavor.
Grandma always sprinkled her fried zucchini blossoms with grated parmigiano which I think adds a nice touch.
Buon Appetito! Gina