How to Eat Zucchini Blossoms

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Zucchini plants are part of the squash family. They are annual plants that produce large orange blossoms. Although the plants are famous for their long green summer squash, zucchini flowers are also edible. These large, delicate blossoms are best harvested before fully opened in late summer, just before the squash start to swell and grow. Italians have long known about these edible blossoms, and serve them fried as an appetizer or fresh as a garnish.

Things You'll Need

  • 10 to 12 fresh zucchini blossoms
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preparation

  • Harvest the zucchini blossoms when they have just bloomed and are bright orange or yellow in color. The blossoms should be approximately 4 inches in diameter and not quite opened all the way. Cut them so that each blossom has a few inches of stem or small zucchini still attached.

  • Remove stamen or pistils from the flowers (the pollen-covered stuff poking from the center of the blossom) by carefully twisting them and snapping them off. Pull off the leaves at the bottom of the blossom. You can leave the stem or zucchini attached to the flower for easier handling. These parts are also edible.

  • Clean the flower petals and stems to remove any dirt or pollen using a damp paper towel. Pat dry with a clean paper towel or dish cloth.

Cooking the Blossoms

  • Combine two egg yolks, 1 cup of cold water, 1 cup of flour, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Beat with a whisk until smooth.

  • Dredge each flower through the mixture until each blossom is coated.

  • Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Carefully place each zucchini blossom in the hot oil until all the blossoms are in the pan.

  • Cook the zucchini blossoms for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown in color. Remove the blossoms when they are fried on both sides, and lay them out in a single layer on a paper towel to drain and cool for a few minutes before serving.

  • Serve immediately as an appetizer.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't grow your own zucchini, check our your local farmer's market in the summer months. Many well-stocked markets carry these flowers.
  • Alternatively, you can use any squash blossom if zucchini blossoms in particular are not available.
  • For a yummy twist, add a morsel of mozzarella to the center of the blossom before frying for a cheesy surprise.
  • For an Asian twist, serve with chopsticks and a bowl of soy sauce for dipping.
  • Remember, if you pick a zucchini flower, you will grow one less zucchini since each vegetable grows where a female flower once was.

References

  • Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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