The first time I had fried zucchini flowers, known as fiori di zucca fritti in Italy, was on our honeymoon in Rome. I had never seen anything like it before. Delicate zucchini flowers, stuffed with ricotta cheese, lightly battered and fried until crispy. They were exceptionally special little treats.
When you bite into one of these little flower gems, you taste a hint of subtle zucchini flavor mixed with the creaminess of ricotta cheese and Italian herbs.
Zucchini flowers can be found during summer months at specialty stores, or, where I found my delicate bundle of flowers, at a Farmer’s Market, while on one of Oliver’s first outings.
The batter I fried them in was mixture of soda water, flour and sea salt. I fried them in an oil duo of vegetable and olive oil that gave them an extra-crispy goodness and flavor.
If you love zucchini, then trying this recipe is a must.
8 – 10 zucchini flowers, rinsed and with stems removed
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Italian cheese mixture, shredded (part mozzarella and Parmesan cheese)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup soda water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
In a frying pan, heat up 1/2 cup vegetable and 1/2 cup olive oil over a high heat.
While oil is heating, mix heavy cream, ricotta cheese, Italian cheese mix, and Italian herbs in a medium bowl and set aside. Pat dry rinsed and stemmed zucchini flowers and cut open one side of each zucchini flower. Spoon in filling (about 1 tablespoon, depending on flower size) and close, by wrapping flower petals back together and giving it a little twist at the top (see photos above). Set stuffed flowers aside.
For the batter, in a medium bowl, mix flour, soda water, and sea salt together. Dip stuffed zucchini flowers in batter one by one.
Place one dipped flower into the heated oil and fry one side until lightly browned (about 30 seconds), then flip and brown other side. Remove from oil and onto a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the battered stuffed flowers. Add more oil to the frying pan, if needed.