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Course: antipasto/mezze, appetizer
Total time: under 1 hour
Skill level: Moderate
Cost: Inexpensive
Yield: Makes 16 blossoms
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Notes

Harvesting zucchini blossoms is a great way of controlling the amount of summer squash in the garden, and my local farm stands always have piles of them for sale. I usually pass them over, but then, in the same week, two friends of mine, Barbara Caccavella and Marguerite Scandiffio, separately rhapsodized about how their Italian-American families fried up piles of blossoms every summer. To avoid deep-frying indoors over a hot stove, fry them in batches in an electric skillet outdoors and serve them, hot and crisp, right out of the pan.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups club soda, as needed
  • 16 zucchini blossoms
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed through a press
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Directions

1. To make the batter, using a fork, stir the flour and salt in a bowl to combine. Gradually whisk in the club soda to make a batter–there should be a few lumps of flour. Let stand 10 minutes to thicken slightly.

2. Using a small knife, cut a slit down the side of each zucchini blossom, and remove the pistil from inside each blossom. (If a blossom tears, don’t worry.) Mix the ricotta, basil, and garlic in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using a small spoon (a demitasse spoon works well), insert a heaping spoonful of the ricotta mixture inside each blossom through the slit. Be sure that the cheese filling is completely enclosed by the blossom. Transfer the blossoms to a platter.

3. Place a wire cake rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour enough oil into a large skillet to come halfway up the sides. Heat over high heat until the oil reaches 360°F on a deep-frying thermometer. One at a time, holding the blossom by the stem, dip the blossom into the batter and remove, letting excess batter drip back into the bowl. There should be only a light coating of batter. Place in the oil and fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Fry the blossoms in batches to avoid crowding them in the skillet. Using a wire skimmer, transfer the blossoms to the cake rack to drain. Serve hot.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving

Nutritional information is based on 16 servings.

Nutritional information is based on 1/2 teaspoon added salt.

73kcal (4%)
20mg (2%)
1mg (1%)
12mcg RAE (0%)
22mg
3mg
2g
0g
0g
6g
4mg (1%)
120mg (5%)
1g (4%)
5g (7%)
0mg (2%)