Zucchini Flowers – The Only Flowers You’ll Want This Valentines Day
Sure a bouquet of roses might make a lovely romantic gesture this Valentines Day but if you want to find the way to an Italian’s heart look no further than zucchini flowers. These delicate flowers that grow on zucchini plants are not just a brightly coloured sight to behold, but are a staple ingredient in Italian cuisine, and are a testament to the age-old saying that ‘nothing goes to waste in an Italian kitchen’.
Zucchini flowers can be prepared many ways and are most commonly fried or stuffed, however they also make a great addition to pasta and frittata dishes. This dish is a favourite of mine because it is easy to prepare and requires few ingredients. It’s a perfect addition to your antipasto platter, and best enjoyed with an Aperol spritz or a glass of chilled white wine.
50g (1 ¾ Oz) Plain (all-purpose) flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
80 – 125 ml of warm water
3 egg whites
8-12 Zucchini (courgette) flowers
Oil for deep-frying
Lemon wedges to serve
For the batter, sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the ¼ teaspoon of salt. Add the oil and mix together with a wooden spoon. Slowly add 80-125 ml of warm water. Change to a whisk when the mixture becomes liquid. Continue whisking until the batter is smooth and thick (add a little more flour at a time if the mixture is still too liquid). Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into the batter.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or deep frying pan to 180°, or until a breadcrumb fries golden brown when dropped in the oil. Dip the zucchini flowers into the batter; make sure you thoroughly coat them on both sides. Fry the flowers in batches (around 3 at a time). Turn them over until they are golden brown on both sides. Leave them to dry on a paper towel and serve with a sprinkle of salt and a lemon wedge. Serve immediately.