Fried Squash Blossoms

by Christopher Atwood


When in Rome, eat fried food.

In the summer months, Rome’s outdoor markets -- places, like Campo dei Fiori -- abound with orange-and-green zucchini blossoms. Roman cooks stuff fiori di zucca with a bit of cheese, frying them until crisp. 

Both elegant restaurants and more rustic pizzerias serve fried antipasti  in the Eternal City.  Fritto misto alla romana might include mix of fiori di zucca (fried zucchini flowers), olive ascolane (fried stuffed olives), and mozzarelline fritte (fried mozzarella balls). Locals in Rome nibble on fried blossoms before digging in to filling first course -- like classic carbonara.

fiori_di_zucca-1

Below, we’re sharing our Italian recipe for Roman-style fried squash blossoms.  You’re not tasting the true Rome unless you try these savory fried flowers. Relish a bite of the real Rome in your own home with this classic (and easy) Italian recipe:

 

FIORI DI ZUCCA ALLA ROMANA

* 10-15 fresh zucchini flowers

* 2 eggs

* 1 cup flour

* 3 tablespoons of beer

*  oil for frying (2-3 cups)

* 1 mozzarella ball sliced into thin strips

* anchovy fillets (or none if you don't like them)

zucchini_flowers

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

Remove the tough base of the flower. Be careful -- it can be spiny and prick your fingers. Place a sliver of mozzarella in each flower and, if you want, one anchovy. Do not to over-stuff.  Set aside the filled blossoms.

In a frying pan, pour 3-4 inches of oil and heat to 375 degrees.  If you don't have a thermometer, you can test the oil temperature by putting a little drop of the batter in the heated oil. If it sizzles and floats to the surface right away, it's ready.

While the oil heats, beat the eggs (yolks and whites) with a fork. Bit by bit, sift the flour in, stirring constantly to avoid clumps.  Once your pastella is the consistency of thick pancake batter, add the beer and whisk in.  Dip each flower in batter, letting extra pastella drip off.

Fry the blossoms for 2-3 min per batch.  They should be crispy and lightly golden on all sides. Sprinkle lightly with salt eat right away

Hungry for more authentic Italian recipes? Check out our easy at-home carbonara  recipe here:

AUTHENTIC CARBONARA RECIPE

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