Authentic Recipe for Crisp Fried Zucchini Flowers

by Christopher Atwood

When in Venice, savor some seafood.  
When in Tuscany, try the olive oil.  
When in Rome, eat fried food. 
In the summer, Rome’s outdoor markets  abound with orange-and-green zucchini blossoms . Roman like to 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 olives), and mozzarelline fritte (fried mozzarella balls).
Below, we’re sharing our Rome-approved recipe for fried zucchini flowers.  You’re not tasting Rome unless you try a plate of this gooey-centered fried goodness. Ask for the flowers at your local farmer’s market in the sunnier months. 
* 10-15 zucchini flowers
* 2-3 eggs
* 1 cup flour
* 4 tablespoons of beer
*  oil for frying
* 1 fresh mozzarella ball sliced into thin strips
* Anchovy fillets (or none if you don't like them)
Wash the zucchini blossoms and gently pat them dry with a paper towel; remove the tough and spiny base of the flower. Be careful -- it can be prickly and stick to 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

 For more tips on summer travel through Italy, download our gorgeous GUIDE TO SUMMER IN ITALY. Click the image below to get your copy!



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