Italian Cooking 101: Fiori di Zucca

Zucchini blossoms can be prepared fried, stuffed or as an ingredient for a delicate first course. These zucchini blossoms are delicious and colorful, giving an extra touch to every dish.

This fragile vegetable is the most known and appreciated edible flowers. They grow on both zucchinis and pumpkins, and are characterized by their yellow and orange petals and their large pistils found inside their playful petals. When going to cook these blossoms, don’t be afraid to fry or stuff them and serve as appetizers, or delicately cook them to add to a frittata or salty pies. 

Now these vegetables are fun to pick at the market like a real bouquet of flowers! Here are some tips on how to be well prepared when going to the market to pick the perfect zucchini blossoms.

Zucchini blossoms (fiori di zucca) : how to choose them :    In order to guarantee their freshness, choose zucchinis that seem to have tender flower tips, with a bright color and with large and semi-opened petals. Then make sure that they do not have dark spots and that the petal part is well attached to the body of the zucchini.

Zucchini blossoms (fiori di zucca) : how to clean them : Run under cold water delicately, dry and start to remove blossom petals.  To remove petals, cut very lightly at the base of the petals in a circular direction.  Cutting all the way around and once completed you should be able to remove the entire petal, intact, leaving only the zucchini steam and pistils on top of the zucchini.

Zucchini blossoms (fiori di zucca) : how to cook them : In Italy, zucchini blossoms are often served as an appetizer, like mentioned above, stuffed with mozzarella or an anchovy filling, but can also be filled with various fillings like meat, fish, cheese. But are also commonly found in risottos, pasta sauces or quiches.
For a delicious appetizer, you can fry them after passing them into a batter made with flour and water,  mix fine flour and water, without clumps and then dip one by one flowers in the batter. Immediately place them in a pot where you have heated vegetable oil to boil. Let them fry for a few minutes, gently remove them from the oil and place them on a sheet of absorbent paper to remove any excess frying oil, then serve hot!
You can prepare some delightful frittatas, or combine ricotta, egg and parmesan flowers to make salty pies. For a delicious first course, add zucchini blossoms a risotto sauce, or prepare a sauce for a fresh pasta dish with shrimp, zucchini blossoms and saffron.

For some more idea, here are the recipes from our archive:

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FRIED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS WITH ANCHOVY FILLING
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MOZZARELLA STUFFED FIORI DI ZUCCA
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FIORI DI ZUCCA CHEESE FILLING FOR QUICHE
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FIORI DI ZUCCA FRITTATA

 

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