When I was 17, many moons ago, I got to spend an entire summer with a family in Italy. My host mother, Flora, was an innkeeper, a winemaker and a great cook who could put together the most simplest ingredients and turn them into a 5-star dining experience. Not one time, did I ever have a bad meal while living with her and her family.
One day, I was outside with Flora’s daughter, Ilaria, picking vegetables from their garden. Ilaria had asked if I had ever had zucchini flowers. I had never even seen them. I asked her something like “Zucchinis have flowers and you can eat them?” Ilaria laughed and grabbed a handful. They were pretty in shades of green and orange.
When we were finished in the garden, we brought the veggies back into the house. I pointed to the zucchini flowers and Flora just smiled. She took them from me and said to watch her. She made a simple batter of flour and water, dipped in the flowers and fried them in pan. She let them cool for about a minute and handed one to me. They were the best things I’ve ever eaten. To this day, I’ve never forgotten her recipe and whenever I see zucchini flowers, which is rare, I have to make them.
At a farmers’ market in Montclair yesterday, we found them. I couldn’t wait to get them home and fry them up. We did just that, and ate them with some Flour City Pasta‘s “Rasta Pasta” blend with sauteed Swiss chard.
Fried Zucchini Flowers
Source: Mac’s Memories of Italy
Serves: However many you with whom you wish to share the flowers
- 1/2 c. unbleached flour
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 c. extra virgin oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 15-20 zucchini flowers, stems removed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, mix the flour and water. Line a plate with 2-3 paper towels. Set both aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. When hot, add the minced garlic and saute until lightly browned
- Dip the zucchini flowers one-by-one in the flour-water mixture and add to pan
- Fry battered flowers about 3-5 minutes on each side
- When done, place fried flowers on lined plate. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving