A short-lived blossom… pick them and eat them while you can!
Zucchini flowers are a delicate seasonal treat, but you have to get the timing just right. When the flowers appear, you only have one day to pick them before they wither and die! So it’s crucial to keep an eye on your plants, and to pick the flowers in the afternoon after the blossoms close. (Of course, you can also buy your zucchini flowers from a nearby farm.)
This supervision and effort pays off, however, because zucchini flowers make the most enchanting fritters! Unfortunately, in my neck of the woods, the season for these delicate treats is fairly short… otherwise, I would happily make them all year long.
One utterly delicious way to eat the blossoms is by stuffing them before pan-frying them – as in these pan-fried zucchini flowers with ricotta and garden herbs.
Succulent, festive, and as light a fried food as you’ll find
But I also love to dip them in this super-light beer batter and pan-fry them on their own, without stuffing them. Prepared this way, the fritters only take minutes to make, yet they turn into the most succulent and festive finger food or appetizer. Enjoy!
Food & wine pairing: Dry Riesling with zucchini flower fritters
A dry Riesling is magnificent with these light fritters, and it’s a classic pairing to boot. The wine’s aromatics pair beautifully with the curried spices, without overpowering the delicate zucchini flowers. Cheers!
Beer-battered zucchini flower fritters with curried tomato coulis
makes 24 fritters or serves 4
active time: 20 min
For the batter
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup light beer
- 1 extra large egg – lightly beaten
For the fritters
- Step 1: For the batter – Place the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Add the beer and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let stand for 5 minutes and then add the egg. Whisk again until well incorporated.
- Step 2: Make a small tear lengthwise in each flower and remove the stamen. Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add enough oil to come 1/4″ up the sides of the pan. When the oil is hot, quickly dip each flower in the batter and add it to the pan. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until deep-golden in color. Flip the flowers and continue to sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until deep-golden on the other side. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all flowers have been used, reducing the heat when the pan gets very hot so that the oil doesn’t burn. (Alternatively, use 2 pans.) Sprinkle the fritters with the sea salt and place them on a large serving platter. Spoon the curried tomato coulis in a dipping bowl and serve alongside the fritters.
- Cook’s note: Serve the fritters piping hot – they’ll become soggy as they cool.