Edible Flowers for Summer Dining Italian Style

Deep Fried Zucchini Flowers

zucchini flowers

Serves 4

This fried zucchini flower recipe is a quintessential Italian dish. This sums up all that is integral to Italian cooking, it’s simple and uses the freshest ingredients. If you have ever tried growing zucchini then you will realise this recipe is invaluable (not least for being a great way of using up left over egg whites). There seems to always be a steady supply of flowers throughout the summer, often not enough for a large party but enough for a select few.

You can also deep fry other vegetables as well if the flowers are limited. Slices of zucchini and aubergines are good accompaniments. I have also placed a small strip of anchovy in the middle of the flower, while sweet breads and deep fried sage and capers are delicious, too.


The batter:

  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 75ml -100ml warm water
  • 3 egg whites
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8-12 Zucchini flowers
  • Wedges of lemon
  • 1-2 litre sunflower oil

Cooking instructions:

  • Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the olive oil, salt and warm water.
  • Slowly stir in the flour from the edges, so that it forms a paste. The consistency should be like thick cream.
  • Leave this mixture to rest for at least 10 minutes. It can be prepared in advance and left for several hours, but I would not keep it over night. It only takes a few minutes to prepare.
  • In another bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt. Make sure the bowl and whisk are clean and dry. Whisk the whites until they form soft peaks and fold them gently into the flour paste.
  • Prepare the zucchini by making sure there are no stray flies or animals in the middle of the flower.
  • Trim the stem of the flower to about 2 cm. This gives you something to hold on to when dunking.
  • Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or deep sided frying pan. Use a thermometer and get the fat to about 180C/360F. Or heat the pan slowly and when a piece of bread fizzles vigorously and turns golden brown then it is ready. Remember if the fat starts to smoke then it is too hot.
  • Dip the courgette flowers into the batter, coating both sides and fry until golden brown. Turn the flowers over to cook on both sides.
  • Take out of the oil and rest a second on absorbent paper. Serve with a sprinkling of salt and a piece of lemon. Don’t let them sit around, serve and eat immediately, preferably with a glass of chilled white wine.

Recipe by Stirred Chef, Sophie Braimbridge.

Thinking of cooking this zucchini flower recipe? Check out our trio of summer pasta dishes for a perfect accompaniment.

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