Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fried zucchini squash blossoms

For the second week in a row, we got squash blossoms in our CSA share.  Specifically, zucchini blossoms.  They are the male flowers to zucchini plants.  Female flowers are the ones that become squashes so they shouldn't be picked for frying. They are very delicate and perishable.  With our 90F+ temperatures and visiting family, I'm afraid that the first batch of them turned to slime within 2 days.  When I saw them again this week I vowed to use them immediately.  I've seen squash blossoms stuffed and fried and while that sounds delicious, it also sounded heavy.  I decided to try a lighter version.

Our blossoms were organically grown so I didn't worry about pesticide but they did have a little dirt on them. After rinsing them and drying them on paper towels I cut the stem end off and took out the stamen inside.

I made a tempura-like batter with flour, one egg and some beer and seasoned it with salt and pepper.  It was a thin batter like one makes for crepes.  A thick batter would be too heavy on the delicate blossoms.

I poured canola oil in a small frying pan until it was about 1/2 inch deep.  It should be hot enough that a little batter dropped in sizzles. After dipping each blossom into the batter and rolling it around to cover it, the blossom gets placed carefully into the hot oil.   When the blossoms begin to turn a slight golden brown, I turned them over with tongs until the other side browned.  Once they are all golden I took them out and let them drain on paper towels and sprinkled them with coarse salt while hot.  Because the oil was the proper temperature when I put them in, the fried blossoms absorbed very little oil.

I'd never eaten fried zucchini squash blossoms so I have nothing to compare them too but these were delicious.  It reminded me of a delicate tempura.  I served them with some scallops that got the same treatment with the batter and frying.  The sweetness of the scallops went very nicely with the tender squash blossoms.

I hope we'll be getting more blossoms in future CSA shares!


  1. So funny to see this: Carla and I just had Zuk flowers for an appetizer. It's rare to find them here, but there were two at the farmer's market yesterday, a caprice harvest, which I snatched up for nostalgia's sake--a reminder of Sicily:

    Two were hardly worth all the rigmarole of frying, but we got an excellent recipe from my sister-in-law: stuff them with equal amounts of chopped parsley and grated parmesan, then bake in the oven at a high temperature, until the cheese melts. Turned out great, and the taste and texture of the flower came through much more than after frying. Fried, of course, is its own reward.

  2. Your recipe sounds great, Ben! Thanks for sharing the photo of the market in Sicily. The bundle of zucchini blossoms is so beautiful. You need to become friends with someone who grows zukes to get the blossoms!

  3. We have a few friends that grow em, but they're always dubious about early harvests!