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For today’s Italian recipe, I’ve decided to talk about how to cook pan fried zucchini flowers. This is a recipe that I’ve heard about for many years, and this summer finally took advantage of my back deck zucchinis and tried it.
I’m sharing the recipe step by step with you, along with answers to questions that you might have if you’ve never made this recipe before. If you want to skip the recipe, you can do so here, but I recommend reading through some of my suggestions/tips that might you out.
You should also know I used only simple ingredients, nothing fancy which is perfect in my opinion because you don’t end up masking the flavor of the zucchini blossom itself.
The good news I am excited to share is the following:
- Yes they are easy to make
- Yes they are quick to make
- Yes they are delicious!
Does it matter what kind of zucchini to use?
No, it does not matter. As long as it’s a zucchini flower you are good. There are recipes for squash flowers and pumpkin flowers, but I haven’t tried those nor do I grow pumpkins.
I used the black beauty zucchini variety, which is a bush zucchini, not vine, and it tasted beautiful. So I’m sure whatever variety you have will work fine.
Do you use female flowers or male flowers?
You’ll want to use the male flowers. If you’re not familiar with the difference between the two, it’s very easy to distinguish.
The female flowers grow on the tip of the zucchini itself and you don’t want to pick those because you need them to be pollinated. If you’re picking them early they may not pollinate and the zucchini will die early. Not a good thing.
The male flowers go individually apart from the zucchini itself, on it’s own stem. When you peak inside the flower, it will have a pollen coated yellow stem, while the female does not.
When do you collect the zucchini blossoms to make pan fried zucchini?
You pick the male zucchini flowers when they are mostly closed up after they bloomed. This is in the morning hours before noon and they look so elegant. I’m looking out at my deck now, and some are closed and some are beginning to close.
You can either pinch them off our use a scissors to avoid pricking your fingers.
If you’re not going to plan on using them right away, storing them in a cool area would be best.
Washing the zucchini flowers
Do this step only when you are ready to cook, this is not a “prepare ahead” step. You’ll need to clean the zucchini flowers and this is probably the most difficult part because you don’t want to end up with flowers that are all torn apart. Gently open up the flower and try to gently pull the male stem out and any dirt/grit that might be in there.
Inevitably, it will probably tear as mine did, but since I’m not stuffing them I wasn’t too concerned.
The next step is to gently (notice my use again of the word gently), rinse them in water. I filled a bowl up with water and put the flowers in there giving them a gentle water bath and doing what I could to remove any excess pollen or anything else that might be in there (like little bugs).
When you are satisfied, place on a paper towel on a plate while you prepare the batter and oil.
An Easy Zucchini Flower Batter
If you’re familiar with my recipes, you’ll realize I don’t go crazy on ingredients. I’m about simple… simple cooking, simple ingredients… simply delicious.
So for the zucchini flower batter, I used two ingredients…. flour and water. That’s it. You can add a dash of salt if you want. I choose to limit salt wherever I can.
Will it taste bland? No, because the flavor of the zucchini flower itself comes through in its own purity.
When it comes to quantity of ingredients, it gets really tricky because how much you make depends on how many zucchini blossoms you have.
Since I only have a few plants, I only had three or four blossoms the day I made this. So I used 1/2 cup flour and about a 1/4 cup water. I still had some left over but that’s okay. In your case, just add more water by the teaspoon or add more flour if too watery.
The consistency you want is like a pancake batter. You want to be able to cover the flower in the batter and not have it run off!
Pan Fry Your Zucchini Blossoms Instead of Deep Frying
Benefits of pan frying:
- Use less oil
- Don’t need a deep fryer
- Less mess
- You still get the crunch
Pan frying is so easy. Just use a frying pan or saute pan and add in about 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, enough to coat the bottom about 1/8 of an inch. You really don’t need much.
Once the oil is hot, dip the zucchini blossoms in the batter to coat thoroughly and gently add them to the pan. Do this for all you can fit, and wait about 2 minutes or until the bottom of the zucchinis are golden brown. Then gently turn them over for another few minutes.
Once they are at the degree of crispiness you want, remove and place on a paper towel on a plate to absorb excess oil.
Serve and eat while warm!
Here’s the full recipe here below, thanks for trying and let me know how you like the recipe!
Italian Zucchini Flower Blossom Recipe
When it's zucchini season, I love making this easy and quick Italian pan fried zucchini blossoms recipe. It's healthier than deep frying and I use ingredients everyone has on hand to keep it simple and easy. The flavor is delicious and is one of my favorite summer recipes!
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 dash salt Optional
- 4 fresh male zucchini flowers
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Remove the male stem and gently rinse and wash the zucchini blossoms, being careful not to tear them too much. Use a bowl of water if that helps, as I mentioned within the post.
Set aside to drain on a paper towel placed on a plate
Mix the flour and water until a good consistency like pancake batter is reached. Add more if you have a larger quantity of blossoms.
Add the oil to saute pan and bring to a medium high heat. If you add a drop of water, it should sizzle.
When the level of heat is achieved, gently dip the zucchini flowers in the batter and make sure they are fully coated, and add them one by one to the hot pan.
Let them fry for a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown and cripsy. Then flip and cook further for a few minutes.
When ready, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel placed on a plate to absorb any excess oil.
A few notes:
- Make sure the inside of the zucchinis are cleaned. I remove anything that is hard such as any thorny/prickly leaves on the outside of the bottom of the blossom.
- Use flowers that were recently open, otherwise it gets harder to gently pry the flowers open to clean them.
- Use the male flowers, not female.
- Try not to tear the flowers, but it's not bad if you do. It's more important if you were going to stuff them, but this is not something to stress about when preparing.
- Best when served warm!