You can be certain that summer is here when you start to see these incredibly vibrant and bright yellow flowers at your local supermarket, fruit vendor or in your neighbor’s garden.
Well, zucchini flowers are a summer-time favorite in many parts of Italy and there are many ways they can be prepared. In Calabria, one of the most common ways is battered and fried. It’s quick, easy, and super delicious.
Fried Zucchini Flowers (Fritelle di Fiori di Zucca)
First thing you need to do is get your hands on some zucchini flowers. If you are buying from a local fruit market or supermarket, choose flowers that are tightly closed as this means that they’ve been picked in the early morning. For this particular recipe, we prefer the male flowers, which have regular stems, as opposed to the female flowers, which are still attached to the zucchini vegetable.
Now, it’s time to clean them. Rinse them gently under cold water. It is important to handle them carefully, they are after all a flower so be gentle. As you rinse them, gently nudge them open with your finger to rinse inside and remove any dirt and insects that may be inside. Note: don’t let the flowers get too soaked as they will damage. Pat them dry gently using a paper towel.
Next, remove the stems and the pistil (the piece in the center of the flower). Now, they are ready for the batter.
The batter or “la pastella” is very simple, almost tempura-like.
Here’s what you’ll need for the batter:
1 cup of flour
130 ml of water
salt & pepper (to your liking)
grated parmesan cheese
beer (just a little – an espresso cup serving)
Keep in mind, the amount of batter needed will depend on how many zucchini flowers you are preparing (for this recipe about a dozen).
Mix all the ingredients together and add the flowers to the batter. You can leave the flowers whole or you could cut them into strips. Let the flowers and batter sit in the fridge for about a half hour. Then fry them up with whatever oil you normally use for frying. You know they are ready when they are golden and crispy.
Be warned, they are extremely addictive!
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