Battered Zucchini Blossoms

Perhaps you’ve had zucchini fries at a local pub, or fried some up at home, but this mouthwatering recipe for Battered Zucchini Blossoms is an absolute game changer! If you’ve never experimented with the actual flower of the zucchini plant, you are missing out, and this recipe is the perfect place to start! Fried anything is good, but zucchini blossoms are the perfect weight and texture to create these crispy pieces of perfection! Check out this recipe below, and for more authentic Italian masterpieces, check out all the recipes featured in Cooking with Nonna!

 battered zucchini blossoms cooking with nonna Rina Pesce

Nonna Rina Pesce’s Battered Zucchini Blossoms

PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES • COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES • YIELD: 12 BLOSSOMS, 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

Fried zucchini blossoms are a mouthwatering, seasonal treat. They’re a great way to utilize the bounty of flowers that grow in your own zucchini yields every summer. If you don’t have your own plant, make friends with someone who does; otherwise, you can find these beauties at many farmers’ markets and Italian specialty stores. In Puglia, the blossoms are stuffed with mozzarella and capers and dipped into a flavorful batter called pastella before they are fried to a gorgeous golden brown color. Nonna Rina has to guard them carefully before serving them because these blossoms have a tendency to disappear.

Blossoms

12 zucchini blossoms, stems trimmed,  washed, and dried (some remove the stems and pistils completely, but they
are totally edible and not harmful. Nonna Rina never removes them, as nonne don’t waste anything!)
1 ounce (30 g) fresh mozzarella, cut into twelve 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
1 tablespoon (9 g) capers

Batter

½ cup (60 g) 00 or all-purpose flour
¼ cup (30 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons (12 g) finely minced fresh mint
1 egg
¾ cup (180 ml) water
Olive oil, for frying (or any frying oil you like)

1. To make the blossoms: With your fingers, gently open the petals of the blossoms and insert a mozzarella chunk and 1 to 3 capers, depending on the size of the blossom. Set the flowers aside.

2. To make the batter: In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, cheese, garlic, and mint. Whisk to combine.

3. Add the egg and water to the mixture and whisk to combine.  Set aside.

4. Heat 1½ inches (4 cm) of oil in a large (2.8 L) heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat.

5. Dip each of the filled blossoms into the batter and coat evenly. Shake off any excess and drop them into the oil 2 or 3 at a time.

Fry the blossoms, turning them occasionally with tongs, until they are golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes per batch.

6. Transfer to a paper towel–lined dish to drain. Serve immediately.

Nonna Rina Says

If you are picking your blossoms fresh, try to pick them in the morning, while they are open, to make sure they’re clean.

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For Rossella Rago, creator and host of Cooking with Nonna TV, Italian cooking was never just about the amazing food or Sunday dinner. It was also about family, community, and tradition. Rossella grew up cooking with her Nonna Romana every Sunday and on holidays, learning the traditional recipes of the Italian region of Puglia, like focaccia, braciole, zucchine alla poverella, and pizza rustica. And in her popular web TV series, Rossella invites Italian-American grandmothers (the unsung heroes of the culinary world) to cook with her, learning the classic dishes and flavors of each region of Italy and sharing them with eager fans all over the world.

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