Ingredients for fried zucchini flowers
- 4 zucchini blossoms
- 1 mozzarella fiordilatte
- anchovy fillets, to preference
- salt and EVOO to taste
- For the batter:
- 150/180 ml beer or sparkling water
- 100 g flour type 0
Zucchini blossoms are tasty ingredients widely used in Italian cuisine (for pasta, risotto, fried vegetables, etc.); you can buy them fresh at the street market, especially from May to August. Always choose the ones which are still closed or have only just started blooming, and which appear of a bright yellow/orange color.
Zucchini flowers have a very elegant and delicate flavour, and are often used to add a touch of colour to the dish. They are excellent in first courses, with saffron pasta or risotto (did you know? You can mantecare your risotto with EVOO), in an omelette, or fried, a perfect finger food to be served as appetizers, or as a tasty and crunchy second course.
As you can read in our panzerotti recipe, we advise you to fry using extra virgin olive oil – many believe that using seed oils is a healthier choice, but actually it is not! Seed oils are characterized by a lower smoke point than that of EVO oil; moreover, seed oils are extracted using chemical methods, and do not have all the nutritional characteristics of extra virgin olive oil, which is not only good for our health but it also protects the food during cooking (read more on how to use olive oil in cooking).
- Prepare the batter – it can be prepared in many different ways, but the base is always made of cold water and flour. We replaced water with beer to give our recipe a little more flavor.
- Mix the beer with the sifted flour and the salt; mix thoroughly to prevent the formation of lumps. Let your batter rest in the fridge, covered.
- Cut the mozzarella into sticks and squeeze the water out of them.
- Prepare the zucchini flowers. First, dive them in cold water, upside down, for a couple of minutes; this will help them to open, therefore making them easier to prepare. Shorten the stem, remove the outer leaves and the pistil inside. Handle the blossoms carefully so not to break them apart. Dry them out by wrapping them in a paper towel.
- In a pan, heat up the extra virgin olive oil over high heat. The zucchini blossoms have to be deep-fried, so pour a good amount of EVO oil in your pan.
- Very delicately, stuff your zucchini blossoms with the mozzarella sticks (and the anchovies, to your preference). “Close” the blossoms by turning the top of the leaves into themselves. Dip them in the batter 2-3 times to create a nice layer around them.
- Check the temperature of the EVO oil with a food thermometer – it should reach 180°C (356 ° F) and remain at this temperature throughout the cooking (lower or increase the heat to maintain it). If you don’t have a food thermometer, do the test by dipping some batter into the pan – when the oil is hot enough, it will form little bubbles around the batter. Cook your zucchini blossoms for about 2-5 minutes, flipping them from time to time, until they turn golden brown. Let your zucchini blossoms drain some oil on a paper towel.