Make success with fried zucchini flowers!
In countries around the Mediterranean you will now and then be served fried zucchini flowers. They are served as appetizer or a side dish. For many years we have every summer grown zucchini in big pots in our back yard and they thrive well in the Norwegian climate. I sow seeds at the end of Mars and keep the small pots in the windowsill until there is no risk of frost at night. Fried zucchini/squash is tasty and can be served together with both meat and fish.
It was only 2 years ago after a holiday in Greece that we started using the zucchini flowers as well. We spent 2 weeks in Lesvos and tasted these delicious flowers for the first time. They have a sweet taste and a rich flavor. Per got really inspired and it did not take long before he served fried zucchini flowers on all occasions the rest of that summer.
Use the male flowers. They grow on long and thin stalks and will never develop a zucchini fruit. It’s so wisely made that you can pick all the male flowers and still get zucchinis from the female flowers! This way the whole plant is exploited. Pick the flowers when they have just opened. Put them in a box, but don’t press them together, and then in the refrigerator. They can keep up to 4-5 days. This way you can get many flowers even if you don’t have that many zucchini plants. They may slightly curl up, but that doesn’t matter.
If you don`t have your own zucchini plants to pick flowers from you can try to buy them at a farmers market. Before you fry the flowers you must remove the pistils and the outer leaves. Use a sharp knife and cut around the stem above the outer leaves and you can remove the pistil easily.
10-15 zucchini flowers
1 ½ cup of white flour
½ tsp salt
1 egg yolk
2 cups of cold water
Mix flour, salt, egg yolk and cold water to a batter and let it rest for ½ an hour in the refrigerator. The batter is very similar to pancake batter. Dredge the flowers in the batter. Let the excess batter drain off. Fry the flowers golden in hot vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes without crowding the pot. Turn the flowers around while in the oil.
Let the zucchini flowers drain of on some kitchen paper towels for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve while hot. You can also fill the zucchini flowers with some soft cheese, like goat cheese, feta or ricotta, just a small piece in each flower.
Fried zucchini flowers are perfect as an appetizer or a snack together with a glass of white wine. During summer we often make Mediterranean food, a lot of small dishes, mostly vegetarian. Fried zucchini flowers are always popular when served.