It’s that time of year again! That moment, where bright orangey-yellow flowers on zucchini plants are in full bloom. It was also about at this time of year that these same flowers prompted a summer inspired blog post.
Seeing them at Vicki’s Veggies’ kiosk at the Stop Farmer’s Market at Wychwood Barns struck a chord. It brought me back my Nonna’s back yard where countless amounts of zucchini flowers, tomato plants, herbs and vegetables could be found. During the summer months she’d always serve some fried zucchini flowers as a nice savoury snack.
Needless to say, I had to emulate this childhood memory by preparing a batch. I had previously asked her for the recipe, but since it has been about two years since the last time I had prepared them, I was a little rusty. The best way to know how it’s done is to go directly to the source. So I called up Nonna.
My grandmother is always pleased to share her tricks of the trade. But in true Nonna fashion, it’s never easy to get the exact quantities required for a dish. Over the years, I’ve come to accept that following her recipes isn’t an exact science. It’s more about knowing about the flavours that make the dish a success.
She also shared some advice on deep-frying. The oil must not get too hot, nor too cold. The wok (pan, or pot) must contain a large amount of oil. Thrifty, Nonna reminded me that I could filter my frying oil and keep it handy for future use.
With all these pointers in mind, I headed to the kitchen.
(For about 20 zucchini flowers)
- 3 or for 4 eggs
- 3 tbs of grated cheese of your choice (I used parmesan)
- 3 or 4 tbs of flour
- chopped parsley or chives
- salt and pepper
- canola oil for frying
- Rinse zucchini flowers, shaking them, making sure there are no surprises (leaves, dirt, insects – yes, that has once happened before!), pat dry.
- In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs, mix in the grated cheese, chopped herbs and salt and pepper.
- Dip the zucchini flowers in the egg batter and then dip in the flour.
- Fry zucchini flowers until golden brown, making sure you flip them over after two minutes.
- Let cool on a plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Serve warm.
*The fried zucchini flowers can easily be frozen and warmed up. To serve, war up in oven at 350 °F for about 10 minutes.
The fried zucchini flowers are quite easy to prepare. Deep-frying make me nervous because I rarely cook that way. The key is to always keep a watchful eye on the flowers while they fry. The finished product is worth the effort: slightly crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, fried zucchini flowers make for a perfect summer snack.