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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FRYING ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS.
As zucchini plants grow, they produce zucchini flowers. These flowers are the edible blossoms that will eventually become zucchinis, if left to grow in a garden. Zucchini flowers are delicately soft and taste faintly of zucchini. Many gardeners enjoy harvesting and eating these colorful, golden blooms. Zucchini flowers can be picked from the garden and used in salads, sautéed or battered or stuffed**SEE COOK'S NOTE** and deep fried for a tasty summer delicacy.
If you are lucky and don’t mind using a future mature zucchini, you can use a female blossom**SEE COOK'S NOTE** with a tiny two to three inch maturing zucchini developing on the stem end of the flower. Although the male blossom is usually used, the zucchini plants produce so profusely that frying up some very young ones is a very tasty diversion from the norm.
FRIED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS
1. Harvest zucchini blossoms in the middle of the day when they are fully open. Cut the blossom from the
plant with a sharp knife or garden shears leaving 1/2 to 1 inch of the stem attached (unless, you are
using the female blossom, then make the cut incorporating the maturing zucchini). This makes the maturing
zucchini a andle so to speak.
2. Rinse the flowers in cold water to remove any dirt or garden residue. Remove the zucchini flowers from
the stems and make a slice into one side of the base of the flower to prepare it for cooking. Just take a sharp
paring knife (or a pair of kitchen shears) and slice (or snip) into the blossom along one side. Gently open the
petals and remove the pollen-covered pistil inside (that's the yellow tube-shaped part). At times it can be quite bitter.
3. Place the zucchini blossoms in a bowl of ice water and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. This
keeps the blossoms fresh and prevents wilting. You can hold them up to 2 days in ice water, but any more than
that is pushing it.
4. Make a batter with 1 cup of flour, 1/2 tsp. of salt and ¾ cup of milk and 2 egg yolks. Ground spices such
as garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, fenugreek, allspice can also be added to the batter. Mix well.
5. Remove the zucchini blossoms from the ice water and pat dry.
6. Dip the blossoms in the batter mixture. Allow excess batter to drip back into the bowl.
7. Fry in hot oil until the batter is golden brown on both sides.
8. Place on paper towels to drain. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm.
1. Zucchini blossoms can be stuffed with cheeses, herbs and even anchovies before deep frying.
1. The female flower is a golden blossom on the end of each emerging zucchini. The male flower grows directly
on the stem of the zucchini plant on a long stalk, and is slightly smaller than the female. Both flowers are edible,
and are often used to dress a meal or to garnish the cooked fruit.
2. Bees are the primary pollinators of the zucchini blossom that produces the zucchini squash. The bee will gather
pollen from the male blossom and pollinate the female blossom. It is therefore important that when picking
blossoms to eat, that you do not use all of one kind of blossom so as to preserve enough male and female
blossoms to propagate the squash.
3. Firm and fresh blossoms that are only slightly open are cooked to be eaten, with the pistils removed from female
flowers, and the stamens removed from male flowers. The stem on the flowers can be retained as a way of giving
the cook something to hold onto during cooking, rather than injuring the delicate petals, or they can be removed
prior to cooking, or prior to serving. There are a variety of recipes in which the flowers may be deep fried as a fritter
or tempura (after dipping the blossom in a light tempura batter), stuffed, sautéed, baked, or used in soups.
RECIPES FOR FRIED AND/OR STUFFED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS