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Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Stuffed zucchini flowers are a favorite all over Italy. This version is filled with traditional ricotta and basil filling, then deep-fried until crisp. Use them as an outstanding appetizer or as a substantial garnish.

A large pan covered with parchment paper and 8 deep fried zucchini flowers, sprinkled with lemon zest, salt, and chile flakes.

These appetizers are favorites all over Italy. Come springtime, menus are chockfull of regional variations. This is a classic filling, but other herbs and seasonings would work well, too. Use your imagination–and what’s on hand. A sprinkle of chile flakes certainly wouldn’t go amiss.–Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers

HOW DO I CLEAN SQUASH BLOSSOMS?

Squash blossoms start to show up at the beginning of the summer. Often, home gardeners will grow a crop of zucchini just for the flowers rather than the summer squash themselves, that’s just how delicious they are. When choosing blossoms, you’ll want to pick up the ones that are brightly colored and not shriveled up. Use them as soon as you can, as they definitely don’t get better with age. Then you can prep them for cooking. Since the actual flower is the only edible part, you’ll first need to remove the spiny leaves around the bottom with a sharp knife. Then you just need to gently pull out the pistil or stamen from inside the blossom. Some cooks prefer to leave a bit of the stem on, to provide something to hang on to when dipping and eating but that’s entirely up to you.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

A large pan covered with parchment paper and 8 deep fried zucchini flowers, sprinkled with lemon zest, salt, and chile flakes.

Stuffed zucchini flowers are a favorite all over Italy. This version is filled with a traditional ricotta and basil filling, then deep fried until crisp. Use them as an outstanding appetizer or as a substantial garnish.

Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers

Prep 45 mins

Cook 1 hr

Total 1 hr 45 mins

Appetizer

Italian

6 servings

257 kcal

No ratings yet

For the batter

For the zucchini flowers

Make the batter

  • Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the center, pour in the olive oil, and stir to combine. Loosen this paste by slowly adding enough warm water, slightly less than 1 cup, to make a batter the consistency of heavy cream. Add 1 teaspoon salt, cover and leave for at least 1 hour.

Prepare the zucchini flowers

  • Remove the stamens and the green bits at the base.

  • Season the ricotta. Push 1 teaspoon of ricotta and a basil leaf inside each flower. Press together.
  • Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) in a deep skillet. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the batter.
  • Dip the flowers one at a time into the batter. Tap gently to knock off excess, and carefully place as many as you can without touching into the hot oil. Fry until light brown, then turn to crisp the other side.
  • Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with lemon.

Serving: 1servingCalories: 257kcal (13%)Carbohydrates: 23g (8%)Protein: 9g (18%)Fat: 14g (22%)Saturated Fat: 5g (31%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 21mg (7%)Sodium: 61mg (3%)Potassium: 138mg (4%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 387IU (8%)Vitamin C: 12mg (15%)Calcium: 100mg (10%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published February 19, 2004

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