Ooooooooh, it’s that time of year! The garden is in full bloom and so are the zucchini blossoms.
I had no idea you could eat these until one fateful night 10 years ago on our honeymoon.
We arrived in southern Italy late at night. We were jet lagged and starving. We were spending the first part of our honeymoon with my husband’s family for a few days and his zio had whipped up a simple yet FABULOUS meal!
Seriously, this was probably one of the best meals I have ever eaten in my 39 years on this planet!
One of the items on our plate included what the Calabrese call bee-tuh-lee-dee. I have absolutely no idea how you spell that in Italian because my husband’s family speaks a dialect. But what I DO know is that these taste DELICIOUS!
The following summer, we had some of these growing in our garden and I asked my mother-in-law if she would show me how to make them. I couldn’t believe how simple it was!
If you look up fried zucchini blossoms, most recipes you find are usually stuffed with ricotta, or some other cheese. We are not big cheese fans in our house so this recipe works great for us!
I know what you’re thinking. An Italian house that doesn’t eat cheese?!?! I know, I know, it’s practically sacrilegious. We do however eat mozzarella on our pizza, so we aren’t THAT bad.
We use these as an appetizer, or as part of a nice summer lunch. They are super easy to make and don’t take a lot of time. You also do not need to just use zucchini blossoms. We use the flowers from our squash and pumpkins as well. They are all basically in the same family and all produce the same type of edible flower.
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- a touch of oregano
*makes approximately 4-5 flowers
Pick flowers during the morning hours while it is cooler and they are open. You can store them in the fridge until ready to use. When ready to use, remove leaves and stems and thoroughly rinse under cool water.
In a bowl mix together flour, egg, water, and salt, pepper and oregano to taste. The thicker the mixture, the thicker your cooked flowers will be.
Add zucchini blossoms to mixture. Gently coat all sides using a spoon, taking care not to tear the flowers.
Fill a frying pan with about 1/2 an inch of canola oil. Raise heat to medium temperature. Drop battered flowers into the hot oil one at a time. Try to keep them as flat as possible. Fry them on each side for about 2-3 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from frying pan and place on a plate covered with paper towel to help absorb the excess oil.
MANGIAMO! I paired mine with a freshly picked garden salad and some classic patate fritte (fried potatoes) which I also picked from my garden. Oh, and don’t forget the glass of wine!