Zucchini Flowers- a special seasonal treat

Have you ever had this Italian classic? They are a special treat and one of my all time favorites.

Zucchini plants produce large, beautiful flowers for the bees to come and pollinate which results in gorgeous zucchini fruit. But they have another wonderful purpose on this earth- for eating! You occasionally can find zucchini flowers available in a specialty food store but I have never seen them look fresh enough to purchase. I do order them at select restaurants at select times of year, but really, nothing compares to picking your own and frying them up within minutes of picking.

Directions

  1. Pick your flowers when they are a healthy size, have not yet begun to wilt and are closed. Gently twist the bottom and pull out the insides of the flower. It should come out in one piece like in the picture below.
  2. zucchini flower parts

  3. Heat your oil for frying.
  4. Season a bowl of flour generously with kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper. Whisk 2 eggs in a bowl.
  5. Dredge the flowers in the flour, shake off excess flour and dip in the egg. Fry for about 2 minutes on one side and about 1 minute on the other side. They fry very quickly- fry just long enough to cook off the egg and flour and produce a crispy flower. Drain on paper towel and season with sea salt or kosher salt immediately. Enjoy hot!