Springtime in Italy!

by Sunni Chapman



With April fast upon us, spring has arrived in Italy! Olive trees are blooming. Fields brim with crimson poppies. And, golden ground morphs into verdant valleys.

A bounty of vegetables accompanies the sunny months. In springtime, you’ll find artichokes, berries, and asparagus. By mid-June, the first zucchini starts appearing at Italy's farm stands.

Alongside the zucchini, you’ll find bushels of squash blossoms – the edible flowers that Italians love to mangiare.

Zuchini flowers in Italy

Markets in Rome abound with baskets of these orange and green flowers. Restaurants and home cooks buy big bags of them. Traditionally, they’re fried or served atop pasta or pizza. ((Click here to reveal 3 Delicious Travel Experiences in Rome!))

Roman-style fried fiori di zucca are always made with a lone anchovy and a small bit of mozzarella. Once filled, they get dipped in a yeasty batter and crisped until golden.

Ask around at your local farmers market to discover when they’re in season in your own backyard!

Because we love you, here's our nonna's secret recipe for this summery snack:

FIORI DI ZUCCA -

FRIED ZUCCHINI FLOWERS

fried zucchini flowers recipe

INGREDIENTS:

* 10-15 zucchini flowers (use right away or they will wilt)

* 2-3 eggs

* 1 cup flour

* 4 tablespoons of beer

* Vegetable oil sufficient for frying

* 1 fresh mozzarella ball sliced into thin strips

* Anchovy fillets (or none if you don't like the taste)

PREPARATION:

First, heat 2-3 inches of oil in a frying pan to 375 degrees.

While the oil heats, pat your blossoms dry with a paper towel. Remove the spiny base of the flower. Be careful -- it can be prickly! Then, place a thin sliver of mozzarella in each flower. If you want, you can also add in one small anchovy. Do not to over-stuff -- you don't want cheese oozing out during frying! Set aside the filled blossoms.

In a separate bowl, 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.

If you don't have a frying 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, it's ready. If not, keep heating

Dip the flowers in the batter, letting the excess drip off. You should fry your flowers now in batches – 5 to 6 at a time for about 2 minutes. You'll know they're done when golden on all sides.

Let the fried flower rest on a paper towel for 1 minute after frying. To serve, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and buon appetito! Zucchini flowers taste best when eaten right after frying.

Do your Italy travelers love food and wine? Contact info@seeitalytravel.com for a delicious custom itinerary! Our authentic menu of options will leave clients hungry to book with you again and again.

Ciao, ciao!

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