Airy Fried Zucchini Flowers

I don't know about you but zucchini flowers excite me. Zucchini flowers serve as the ultimate symbol and importance of seasonal produce. These flowers only pop up during a certain time of the year and unlike many other American produce they can't be found at every grocery store every day. These delicate blossoms also have to be cooked close to when they were picked because they are very perishable. Sometimes zucchini flowers can be hard to find, (especially in large quantities) but if you look around at your local farmers market, farms or specialty grocery stores you will have a better chance of finding them. And believe me these little guys are worth the search. I picked these flowers from my garden.

These unstuffed blossoms are light, airy and simple. Stuffed and fried zucchini flowers are amazing (in fact just last week I was at NYC restaurant Minetta Tavern and they were serving zucchini flowers stuffed with crab and egg yolks); however, sometimes I just prefer the extraordinary taste of the flower itself to shine through.


vegetable oil and/or olive oil for frying
1 1/4 cups ap flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 12 oz bottle of beer
1/2 tsp. minced fresh parsley (optional)
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
zucchini flowers (as many as you can find; this batter can make you at least 20 flowers)

  1. Heat 3-5 inches of oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat. 
  2. Line a large dish with paper towels. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, paprika, salt and pepper together. 
  4. Pour the beer into the flour mixture and whisk until there are only a few smaller lumps. Add the parsley to the mixture. 
  5. In batches, gently fold the stiff egg whites into the beer batter. 
  6. In batches, gently emerge each flower into the batter. Make sure all sides are dredged. Shake off any excess batter. 
  7. When your oil reaches about 350 degrees F (according to an oil thermometer) gently drop each flower into the oil. Work in batches so that you don't overcrowd the pan.
  8. Using a spider, (don't worry I mean the cooking utensil!) flip the flower over once so that each side is a beautiful light golden brown. About 1-2 minutes per side. 
  9. Using a spider, take the flower out of the oil and place on the dish lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt while they are hot. Enjoy immediately!

Happy eatings!

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