A typical Mediterranean dish: Fried Zucchini Flowers in English, and in France they are called Beignets de Fleurs de Courgette.
There are many versions where the flowers are coated with different types of batter.
I have tasted batters made with eggs, herbs, even breadcrumbs. Personally, I prefer to keep it simple as the flowers have a delicate flavour which would otherwise be overwhelmed by any stronger ingredient.
I use a simple tempura batter equal parts of water and flour, and 1 tbsp of semolina flour to add some crunch.
Beside salt, I add saffron.
As saffron is pollen, it actually enhances their flowery flavour.
There are two types of flowers, the male which is the flower that pollinates, and the female which is the flower that yields the zucchini.
You can use either flower, however it is best to use the male one for frying.
The inside is smaller and there is more room to insert the filling.
Use a mild, but not watery cheese such as cubes of mozzarella for cooking.
A fresh watery mozzarella will leak water into the frying oil, producing dangerous sparks.
You can also add a small piece of cooked ham.
Anything stronger will overcome the flavour of the flower.
So here is the recipe:
If you don't have a deep fryer, I would suggest Magimix Pro 350 °F - Fryer (3 L, 1.1 kg, 3 L, Single, Stainless Steel, stand-alone). It was recommended on a cooking course at Rick Stein’s in Padstow, and it is on my wish list. (affiliate link)
- 10 zucchini flowers
- 1 cup flour all purpose
- 1 tbsp semolina flour this is the secret to make them extra crispy
- 1 cup water
- 2 sachets saffron
- oil for frying
- mozzarella and ham optional for the filling
- Wash the flowers making sure there are no insects inside. Cut the sepal but leave the pedicel of male flowers. Let them drain upside down.
- Once they are dry, add the fillings inside the flower. In the meantime heat the oil for frying at medium heat.
- In a bowl mix the 2 flours with the saffron, then add water and salt
- and whisk until combined
- Dip the flowers in the mix
- Making sure they are all coated with the batter
- Deep fry the flowers
- Turning them to cook evenly on all sizes
- Once cooked, lay them over a paper towel to absorb the excess oil
- Serve immediately so they will be warm and crispy
Calories 45 calories per serving
Fat 5 gr per serving
Carbohydrates 5 gr per serving
Sodium 229 mg per serving
*Assuming 70% increase in calories for fried food
Nutritional information is provided for general purpose only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely.
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