Zucchini Blossom Fritters (Frittelle di Fiori di Zucca)

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Zucchini Flower Blossom Fritters

Zucchini Flower Blossom Fritters
Male zucchini flower fully opened and with the stamen intact (you’ll want to remove it prior to cooking as it is bitter) make the best zucchini flower blossom fritters.  Moreover, as CiaoFromDebbie states, “The major difference between male and female flowers is that the female blossoms have a baby zucchini on the end and the male blossoms are just on a plain stem. You need both types in your garden so that bees can fertilize the female flowers…but if you have an abundance of male blossoms, you can pick them and eat them. Or, you can pick the female blossoms off of the zucchini once it has begun to grow.

Our mother has been using the same Zucchini Flower Blossom Fritters recipe for nearly 30 years here in the United States, which includes grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and plenty of finely chopped parsley.  Our mother’s technique also includes “flattening” out the batter when it hits the hot oil so that thin frittelle are produced.  Note, you can also simply batter and fry a single, whole, zucchini flower with a bit of cheese (or a single salty anchovy) placed in the center of the blossom (I prefer chopping the flowers to release more flavor and also getting more out of  precious zucchini blossoms). A third technique is to simply consume the flowers raw in a salad as Melissa Clark from the NY Times suggested in her article, Zucchini’s Flower Power.

Zucchini Flower Blossom Fritters

For many Calabrians, the zucchni blossom or flower is the best part of the vegetable.  In fact, and to be perfectly honest, zucchini are often seen as “second rate” vegetables in Calabria, don’t ask me to explain this view but I think it has something to do with the abundance of zucchini during the summer months in southern Italy and the same can be said about other fruits and vegetables in the region.

Zucchini Flower Blossom Fritters
Fresh frittelle di fiori di zucca, or zucchini fritterr; most Italians cosume this little treasures as a pre-dinner type of meal

Here’s our Fried Zucchini Flower Fritter or Frittelle di Fiori di Zucca recipe:

Zucchini Blosom Flower Fritter or Frittelle di Fiori di Zucca
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Zucchini Flower Blossom Fritters recipe
Cook:
Serves: 20-30
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of roughly chopped zucchini flowers (with the stem removed and interior material removed)
  • ½ cup of flour (+ or - a few tablespoons)
  • ¼ tablespoon of baking powder (optional)
  • ¼ cup of Pecorino Romano and ¼ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ - ½ cup of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Process
  1. The technique is fairly simple: start by mixing the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper together. Combine water and egg, whisk together and then add to dry ingredients.Combine wet and dry ingredients (if mixture appears dry add more water)
  2. Add chopped zucchini flowers and combine all ingredients. Let mixture rest 30 minutes. Pan fry until crispy and golden (about two minutes on each side if your oil is at the correct temperature).
Notes
You can also simply take a single blossom, create a simple batter, fill the intact blossom flower with a single anchovy or a bit of ricotta and deep fry until golden brown.
harvesting zucchini flowers outside of Bagnara Calabra in the village of Pellegrina, my parent’s birthplace
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7 Comments

  1. So true about zucchini being rather “eh” here. I mean we do eat them a lot, but it’s nothing special like a big ole porcini found in the woods — why yes, that *is* what we had for dinner this evening 😉

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  4. Problem is: I can’t find zucchini flowers here in Holland/the Netherlands …

  5. I leave the flower intact and dip into the batter and fry, also stuff with a ricotta, grated cheese, prosciutto gently twist the tip of the flower to close it, dip in batter and fry, sooo good!!

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