Fried zucchini flowers are a fun and elegant summer recipe that you can make as an appetizer or as part of an Italian aperitif. This zucchini blossom recipe is only a few simple ingredients and is a delicious and unique treat!
About the recipe
One of the best parts of traveling is trying new foods that I fall in love with to the point where I'll do just about anything to recreate the dish at home.
During a trip to Rome, I was introduced to the fried squash blossom as an authentic Italian summer appetizer. I fell head-over-heels for this dish and ordered it at three different restaurants over the course of our trip.
At the time, I had no idea if or where you could find squash blossoms in the states. But as it turns out, if you know someone who grows zucchini, chances are high that you can get your hands on some of the flowers!
I was over-the-moon excited when I found an abundance of these lovely gems at our local farmer's market. So naturally I decided that it was the perfect time to try and make them just like I had tasted in Italy.
Fried zucchini flowers are a simple yet surprisingly delicious appetizer that you can make with a few pantry ingredients and some fresh mozzarella cheese. The blossoms are filled with a bit of cheese, dipped in a light batter, and fried to crispy perfection. Let's make some!
- Oil for frying (I recommend canola, peanut, or vegetable oil)
- Zucchini blossoms
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 large egg yolks
- Ice water
- All-purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Fresh lemon wedges
Step 1: Rinse the zucchini blossoms, pat dry, and remove the stamen from the center of the flower.
Step 2: Make a simple flour + egg + water batter. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan to 375°F.
Step 3: Place a small piece of fresh mozzarella in each flower, then lightly dip it into the batter.
Step 4: Fry 2-3 blossoms at a time for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Drain on a paper towel, then sprinkle a little sea salt and a drizzle a bit of fresh lemon juice on top. Serve right away while hot!
Below are some of my best tips for making fried zucchini flowers, as well as some answers to commonly asked questions!
Where can I find zucchini blossoms?
You can find zucchini blossoms at some specialty food stores in the summertime. However, your best bet is to find them at a local farmer's market!
How to store zucchini blossoms:
You should use zucchini blossoms as soon as possible after buying them, within 1-2 days. Store them between two slightly damp paper towels in a zip-top bag in the fridge until ready to use. Do not wash before storing them.
What do zucchini flowers taste like?
Zucchini flowers have a really mild flavor and taste like zucchini or squash. They have a soft, tender texture that is similar to butter lettuce. Zucchini blossoms are very low in calories, similar to leafy greens, and can also be added to salads or used a pizza topping.
This fried zucchini flower recipe is a great summer appetizer, or they can be served as a side dish with a big salad! I recommend serving them with:
- Strawberry Tomato Bruschetta
- Melon wrapped with prosciutto
- Fresh figs and cheeses
- Italian Antipasto Chopped Kale Salad
Are you ready to make these Fried Zucchini Flowers? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you!
Leave a comment and rate the recipe below. This will help me with the creation of future recipes!
Fried Zucchini Flowers – Remembering a Favorite Food From Italy
- Oil for frying (canola, vegetable, peanut oil)
- 12 zucchini flowers with stems cut to ½ inch long
- 12 pieces fresh mozzarella cheese (about ½-inch wide and 1 ½-inches long)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup ice water
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Additional salt, for sprinkling fried flowers
- Fresh lemon wedges
- Add 3 inches of oil to a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Heat the oil to 375°F.
- While the oil heats, remove the stamens from the zucchini flowers and place a piece of mozzarella in the bottom of each flower.
- In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Add the water and mix to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add this to the water and egg yolk mixture and mix until it has the consistency of heavy cream (you may need to add 1-2 additional tablespoons of ice water to reach the desired consistency).
- Dip 2-3 zucchini flowers at a time in the batter, using a fork to roll them around to coat them evenly. Let excess batter drip off before adding them to the oil (I used some tongs to transfer from batter to oil). Fry them for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden brown (they will not get very dark). Remove them from the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined dish. Sprinkle with salt while hot. Continue this process until all the flowers are fried. Enjoy immediately with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice on top.
Have you ever cooked with squash flower blossoms before? What is your favorite way to prepare them? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!