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How To Fry Zucchini Blossoms

Zucchini Blossoms

Zucchini Blossoms

Zucchini and squash blossoms are one of the most delightful summer vegetables, and a visual treat too in the marketplace. They should look firm and fresh, and ideally should be just slightly open.

Zucchini blossoms are quite perishable, and should be used the day they’re bought, or at the most the day after. If your local supermarket doesn’t carry them, you may be able to get them from a farmers’ market, or from a farm produce stand. As a last resort, if you have a vegetable patch, you can plant some zucchini. It’s worth the effort.

When you get your blossoms home put them in the crisper section of the refrigerator until it comes time to cook them. Then wash them gently, pat them dry, and remove the pistils. You’re now ready to proceed.

My favorite way of enjoying zucchini blossoms is dipped in batter and fried, because the crunchy saltiness of the crisp golden batter beautifully complements the sweetness of the flower itself, without overshadowing the flower’s delicate flavor. Here’s a simple recipe that supposedly will serve about 6, though in my experience it’s being optimistic:

Zucchini Blossoms Washed, Pistils Removed, and Ready for Use

Zucchini Blossoms Washed, Pistils Removed, and Ready for Use

  • 18 zucchini blossoms
  • A pint (500 ml) cold water (sparkling adds a nice touch), or a mixture of beer and water
  • 3 heaping tablespoons flour, or enough to give the batter the consistency of heavy cream – it should stick to the blossoms
  • An egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt
  • Olive oil or lard, for frying

Trim the stems of the zucchini blossoms, remove the pistils, wash them gently and pat them dry just as gently.

Battering the Blossoms!

Battering the Blossoms!

Prepare the batter by combining the water (and beer if you’re using it), flour and egg.

Heat the oil.

Into Hot Oil...

Into Hot Oil…

Lightly salt the zucchini blossoms, dredge them in the batter, fry them until golden, drain them on absorbent paper, and serve them hot.

Fried Zucchini Blossoms: Enjoy!

Fried Zucchini Blossoms: Enjoy!

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Ivana’s Grilled Zucchini

One would think grilled zucchini to be an obvious dish, but it’s not nearly as common as all that. The recipe is courtesy of Ivana, who prepared it for a wonderful meal in the hinterland of Verona. It’s more of a procedure than a recipe:

Wash, dry, and thinly slice lengthwise a number of zucchini — 1/8-inch or so (3 mm) slices

Grill them for a couple of minutes, turning them once. Transfer the slices to a baking dish and lay them flat.

Take a look at how many you have, and prepare a mixture made with three parts grated Parmigiano, 1 part bread crumbs, and a little minced garlic and parsley. Spread the mixture over the zucchini — it shouldn’t be too thick — drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over them, and roast them for a few minutes in a preheated 400 F (200 C) oven. When the oil is crackling and the crust is lightly browned they’re done.

The rest of the meal this was served in.