Fried zucchini flowers are a staple in any Italian home. Growing up in an all Italian household brings back a lot of memories in the food department. Yes, food is high upon the priority list, and fine meals always follow. Ask any Italian about their feelings on fried zucchini flowers, you’ll see a smile immediately emerge from their face, as you’ve triggered an emotion. I definitely remember these from childhood. It wouldn’t be a typical summer with out my mom frying up her summer batch. Where I grew up in California, we had a Italian neighbor named Della. Della had a lovely little garden-as a kid, I loved walking by it, and inspecting it, seeing what she had growing. Cardone, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant were all apart of her little Italian kitchen garden.
Southern & Northern Italians
Cardone was a huge staple in her garden, and she loved to fry up the cardone stems. Cardone, for those who aren’t farmiliar with the name, are the stocks from the artichoke plant. Only the smaller, white, inner most delicate stocks are used in this fried up delicacy. It’s a taste distinctive on its own, and it’s a taste I fell in love with at a young age. Our neighbor, Della was a southern Italian, and my mom was a northern. You can see they shared only one thing in common, and that was the love of Italian food. Northern and Southerns typically don’t see eye to eye, and their cuisine varies from the north and south. This common thread… food, binds us all together. I’ve seen recipes with the flowers being stuffed and filled with cheese, then batter coated and fried. If you ask me, that’s far too modern.
Male Zucchini flowers
This is certainly a peasant dish, which I think came to fruition when the plant was over loaded with male flowers. In the beginning of summer, you should only pick the males, while leaving the female flowers brings the fruit of the zucchini. However, in the late summer time, when you’re on zucchini over-load, I pick both male and female flowers. The taste is identical, however, I’m not promoting any more fruit growth from the plant. Pick your flowers in the morning when they are still closed. Use your fingers to gently open them up to wash out any insects which have found a home deep down inside. The rest of your success depends on the batter and your frying talents. This is a short, quick fry that even a novice could succeed at and you get the Fried Zucchini Flowers.
Fried Zucchini Flowers
- 10 medium zucchini flowers closed, pick in the morning
- 2 large eggs for batter
- 1 to 2 TBS flour
- 1 tsp milk
- 1 pinch salt and pepper during the frying process
- olive oil for frying
- pick your flowers, then wash them out, and lay them on a towel to dry.
- in a little bowl, crack your eggs, and beat. Add the flower and milk until your consistency is thick, thus like a batter.
- take the flowers, one by one and dip in the batter
- coat all sides, then put into the frying pan which is at fry temperature, with olive oil.
- this is a quick fry with the light batter and the flower. maybe 1 min. per side.season with a bit of salt and pepper
- serve and enjoy.