Fried Zucchini Flowers

A special seasonal treat

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Fried zucchini flowers are a special, Italian, seasonal treat and one of my all time favorite things to eat.

Zucchini plants produce large, beautiful flowers for the bees to come and pollinate which results in gorgeous zucchini fruit. But they have another wonderful purpose on this earth- for eating! You occasionally can find zucchini flowers available in a specialty food store but I have never seen them look fresh enough to purchase. I do order them at select restaurants at select times of year, but really, nothing compares to picking your own and frying them up within minutes of picking.

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The recipe:

Fried Zucchini Flowers
Ingredients
  • Zucchini Flowers
  • Olive Oil
  • All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper and/or paprika (optional)
  • Fleur de sel
Instructions
  1. If you are picking your own zucchini flowers, pick the flowers when they are a healthy size, have not yet begun to wilt and are closed. Gently twist the bottom and pull out the insides of the flower. It should come out in one piece like in the picture here. 

  2. Heat oil just to frying temperature. (Don't let it smoke! It's ready when it takes one minute to fry a cube of bread or you can see the oil start to swirl on it's own.) 

  3. In a medium size bowl, season the flour with kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper.

  4. Whisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl.

  5. Dredge the flowers in the flour, shake off excess flour and dip in the egg.

  6. Fry for about 2 minutes on one side and about 1 minute on the other side. (They fry very quickly so don't walk away! Fry just long enough to cook off the egg and flour and produce a crispy flower.)

  7. Drain on paper towel and season immediately with a sprinkle of flour del sel.  Enjoy hot.