Yes, our gardens are still inundated with zucchini! There are so many dishes you can prepare with this wonderful vegetable, so we thought we would to share another recipe with you that uses the flowers of the zucchini plant. These zucchini fritters, perfected by nonna Pina, are made with 25-30 flowers and if you have a couple of baby zucchini to throw in, it adds to the flavour. It is best to pick the zucchini flowers in the morning while they are still open. If you wait until the afternoon, not only will they be closed and harder to clean but when you go to clean them you may be unpleasantly surprised by bees!
To prepare them you brush off any dirt, washing if necessary. Remove the stems and little petals as well as the stamen inside. Once they are all cleaned, open the flower along one side and place in a bowl. Sprinkle the salt over them, mix and let sit for 15 minutes. In the meantime, you can prepare the batter and get your pan and oil ready. These are best eaten while they are still hot. Nonna Pina says they usually don’t make it to the dinner table as her grandchildren like to eat them as a snack as quickly as cooks them! If you don’t have zucchini flowers, you can make a similar fritter using grated zucchini. Roughly 2 cups of grated zucchini can substitute for the flowers in this recipe.
- 25-30 male zucchini flowers (male flowers don't have little zucchini on them)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- Clean flowers of any debris, washing if necessary
- Remove stems, petals, and stamen
- Once they are all clean, open flowers along one side and place in a bowl
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt, mix and let sit for 15 minutes
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, water, remaining salt and parmesan cheese to make a batter
- Squeeze the juice out of the zucchini flowers and roughly chop them
- Add chopped flowers and basil to the batter and mix well
- Prepare frying pan with half inch of vegetable oil and bring to a high temperature
- Place one heaping tablespoon of batter at a time into the pan, pressing to flatten slightly
- Fry until brown then flip to cook the other side.
- Remove with a slotted spoon, place on paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
- Can substitute grated zucchini for flowers.