Pan-Fried Zucchini Flowers

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A traditional appetizer in Italy, fried zucchini flowers are slightly crispy and mild in flavor. These are the perfect summer appetizer!

fried zucchini flowers

Sometimes, I’m in the mood for a food project — to enjoy cooking for cooking’s sake. These pan-fried zucchini flowers fit the bill perfectly. A traditional appetizer in Italy, fried zucchini flowers are slightly crispy and mild in flavor. They’re not very filling, so it’s easy to make a batch of them and eat them all right away (these are definitely a treat to enjoy with a friend or loved one).

Tips for cooking with zucchini flowers

When making zucchini flower recipes, you want to make sure to use male zucchini flowers. Male flowers have a stem, whereas female zucchini flowers are attached to the squash itself. You can probably find these flowers at your local farmers market or at a specialty health food store. Our garden happens to be producing more blossoms than zucchini at the moment, so we decided to harvest and fry some up in our free time last weekend. If you buy the flowers from a farmers market, make sure that you’re buying zucchini flowers and not flowers from another squash since zucchini flowers are milder in flavor.

When working with zucchini flowers, you need to be extra gentle. Carefully wash them under running water, and lay them out to dry (don’t wring them or put them in a salad spinner!). A light coating of egg and flour is all that’s needed to make the flowers delightfully crisp, and will keep the flower intact during the frying process.

We’ve found that vegetable oil works best for this zucchini flower recipe because it’s light in flavor and has a decently high smoke point. “Healthier” oils like coconut or olive oil are too strong in flavor to work for this recipe, not to mention it’d make frying these zucchini flowers quite expensive. When you begin frying the zucchini flowers, make sure to turn on the fan above your stove and open a few windows if possible. As delicious as these fried zucchini flowers are, they stink up your kitchen (but it’s totally worth it once you taste them).

These zucchini flowers should be eaten right away, as they don’t store well in the fridge. Alex and I like the flowers plain, but I bet they’d taste amazing dipped into some romesco sauce or tzatziki—it’d be like a Mediterranean-fusion appetizer this way!

Looking for more zucchini recipes?

This recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Pan-Fried Zucchini Flowers


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 flowers 1x

Description

A traditional appetizer in Italy, fried zucchini flowers are slightly crispy and mild in flavor. These are the perfect summer appetizer!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 12 male zucchini blossoms (the ones on the stems, not on the zucchini)
  • 4 cups frying oil
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. If the zucchini blossoms are from your garden, cut them stem down to about 1 inch. Gently wash them inside and out, removing all dirt and bugs. Place the blossoms on a towel to air dry.
  2. Fill a saucepan or skillet (we used cast iron) with 1 inch of frying oil. Heat the oil to 350-375°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, that’s hot but not smoking.
  3. On a plate, place 3/4 cup flour and season with some salt and pepper. Nearby, crack an egg into a bowl and whisk it a bit with a fork.
  4. With assembly line efficiency, dip each blossom into the egg (letting the excess drip off), roll in the flour, and carefully place the blossom into the hot oil.
  5. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the blossoms are golden brown. Remove to a paper towel and enjoy them while still warm!

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: fried zucchini flowers

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Jilly
    March 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Have always wanted to try these!

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