I love zucchini flowers, I really do. Now having said that, I must admit that they do not have much if any flavor on their own, but they are simply so darn pretty that I love finding new ways to prepare them. I have fried the flowers in an egg batter, stuffed them with seasoned ricotta cheese and baked them, and used them in a variety of pasta and risotto dishes. Although the zucchini in our vegetable garden are flourishing this year, we haven’t reached the point of having zucchini flowers to pick just yet. Luckily though, almost every outdoor market has a couple of stalls selling bunches of bright yellow just picked zucchini flowers.
Although I really do try to avoid fried foods as much as possible, there is just something about fried zucchini flowers that is irresistible! For this recipe I stuffed my flowers with a combination of ricotta cheese along with creamy goat cheese, then lightly breaded them and fried them quickly until they were golden brown and crisp.
I decided to add the ricotta to the goat cheese because I find goat cheese on it’s own can be a little overpowering. The fried zucchini flowers were perfect, and apart from the cheese melting out of a few just a little bit, I believe this is my new favorite way to cook them! To help prevent the cheese from oozing out a bit while you fry them, which I really didn’t mind, you can do two things. First, after stuffing the zucchini, refrigerate them for at least an hour to ensure the stuffing is cold before you fry them. Second, before you dip the zucchini flowers in the egg wash, lightly tossed the stuffed flours in flour first. This will create a crisper crust which will help keep the filling in. I was happy with my fried flowers just the way they were so will share the recipe exactly as I made them.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 12 Fresh Zucchini Flowers
- 1 (3 Ounce) Log Goat Cheese
- 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Chives
- 1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
- Sea Salt & Pepper
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/4 Cup Milk
- 1 1/2 Cups Seasoned Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 Cup Grated Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese
- Oil For Frying
- Gently rinse your flowers and pat dry with paper towels and carefully remove the inner stamen from each.
- Mix together the ricotta, chives and goat cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place the ricotta mixture in a small plastic bag and clip off one bottom corner.
- Gently squeeze a good teaspoonful of the mixture into each flower.
- If you decide to use the flour to create a crisper crust (see notes above) toss the flowers in the flour now.
- Beat the eggs with the milk until light and foamy.
- Dip the flowers into the egg wash and allow it to drip off.
- Gently roll the flowers in the breadcrumbs and place on a tray.
- Continue to prepare all of the flowers in the same manner.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Heat one inch of oil in a wide saucepan unto very hot (375 degrees F.)
- Fry the flowers in batches of 4 on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
- Place the fried flowers on a platter covered with a couple of layers of paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Once all the flowers have been fried, arrange on a platter and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Serve warm.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 3 flowers
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 431 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 114mg Sodium: 895mg Carbohydrates: 51g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 14g Protein: 24g