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Fun with Zucchini Flowers, Part 1: Fried and Breaded

A four-part series on using zucchini flowers begins with a classic from the grandmother's kitchen of our contributor.

A picture of fried zucchini flowers.

Fried Zucchini Flowers.

 Zucchini flowers are the definitive taste of summer. Preparing them transports me back in time to my grandmother's small but bountiful Brooklyn backyard, where she grew seemingly endless crops, tomatoes and basil, of course, but also cucuzza (the tendrils of which she turned into delicious tenerumi soup) and, of course, zucchini.

She'd tend the garden in the morning, and when she found zucchini flowers, she'd pick them, bread them, and fry them. Simple and delicious and perhaps one of the best examples of what I call ancestral culinary wisdom. Making the most of the earth's bounty, taking something simple that might otherwise be discarded or ignored — and turning it into something otherworldly good.

If there is one thing I'll never have in a restaurant it's zucchini flowers. Restaurants usually stuff them, and the simple sweet taste gets lost in excess fuss.

I still have my grandmother's electric frying pan, and, most often, when I make zucchini flowers, I'll bread and fry them just as she did. You can also batter and fry them, but I prefer them as she made them and how I learned to make them myself.

Put some fried zucchini flowers on fresh semolina bread with a bit of scamorza, and you'll go straight to heaven. They're that good.

NOTE: I am neither a recipe person nor a trained chef. I don't measure precisely; I go by eye. I believe wholeheartedly in spending time in the kitchen with grandmothers, aunts, family cooks, and friends, those who have been cooking for decades, who go by eye, and who just know.  

All of us can learn to cook in a more instinctual (and creative) way, so use your instincts when preparing this dish.

The first step, after collecting the flowers, is to remove the stamen after washing them. Please see the video below for instructions.

See also: Fun With Zucchini Flowers, Part 2: Spaghetti with Zucchini Flowers, Zucchini, and Breadcrumbs

Breaded and Fried Zucchini Flowers

Breaded and Fried Zucchini Flowers

Recipe by Chiara Montalto Giannini
5.0 from 1 vote
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • Two Two eggs (to start, add more if you need)

  • A drop of milk

  • Salt and Pepper

  • Unseasoned breadcrumbs (again, quantity depends on the amount of flowers)

  • Parsley

  • Pecorino Romano

  • Vegetable oil

Directions

  • Remove stamen.
  • Wash zucchini flowers and pat dry.
  • Crack eggs into a bowl.
  • Add milk salt and pepper, beat well with a fork.
  • In a large shallow pan, mix breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and cheese.
  • Dip zucchini flowers first in egg milk/then breadcrumbs and lay out on a large pan.
  • Bread all zucchini flowers.
  • If any egg/breadcrumbs remain, mix together and form little croquettes.
  • Heat vegetable oil in an electric fry pan.
  • Fry Zucchini flowers till golden.
  • Lay on another cookie sheet or pan lined with paper towels.
  • Fry egg/breadcrumb croquettes if making till golden.

How to remove stamen from zucchini flowers

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