Fiori di Zucca Fritti (aka Fried Zucchini Flowers)
One of my favorite things about planting vegetables are obviously watching them grow, but with the zucchini plant, their beautiful flowers begin to appear first and are edible. We only have one zucchini plant this year and it started to bloom pretty early. I picked 5 flowers, with an old family favorite recipe in mind which we call “bellies”. I’m not sure why we call them that or if anyone else does, but they are also known as Fiori di Zucca fritti – fried zucchini flowers. We would be so excited when our mom or grandmother would make these, that we would run to get them, hot off the pan!
When ready to pick the bloom, you should not pick the flower if it is attached to a growing zucchini (as shown in the bottom pic below) as it will kill the vegetable. So make sure you pick only the ones on long thin stems.
This is an extremely easy recipe. Some recipes dip the entire flower into the batter and then fry. We like to tear up the flowers and add to the batter and then fry. Just remember to remove the pistil/stamina at the center of each flower (as seen in the top left pic below), wash them gently under cold water and wrap in paper towel to dry them. I only got about one flower a day, so I kept them in a container in the fridge until I had enough.