Preparing Courgette Blossoms, Stuffing them and Frying Them

I was so in love with the courgette blossoms I bought one day that I put them inside a vase for a bit.  There is something so very jolly about them!

Before being eaten, they need to be trimmed a little.  The tendrils need to be taken off as is the orange ‘heart’ deep within the flour.

Here they are now, all ready to be stuffed with mozzarella and anchovy.

There are times, however, when those blossoms that are sold in bunches all glowing in their glorious and shining beauty at the market arrive home in a severe state of disrepair, all droopy, curled up and lifeless.  Common sense would urge you to go the vegetable-viagra route — you know, place them in icy water to revive them as one would flaccid salad leaves and other forlorn dehyraded vegetables.  But no, common sense does an Alice in Wonderland when it comes to sad looking courgette blossoms.  The trick, you see, is to place them in a tub full of very warm (not hot) water for about half an hour (or even a little more).  Somehow the warmth emanated by the motherly water works wonders and the blossoms come alive again.

See for yourselves.

See how tightly shut off these poor little blossoms are when first placed in the warm water.

And look how large they’ve grown about half an hour later!

Here is a “before and after” photo result if ever there was one, regarding the reviving treatment of warm water on the blossoms.  These photos were taken last year.

This year, I placed some blossoms that were in perfectly good shape into a tub of said warm-to-hot water by mistake (my mind must have been wandering off as it is often wont to do) and to my surprise I discovered that their texture actually improved, they become less fragile so to speak, and thus easier to handle!  So I decided that I am always going place courgette flowers in the water from now on.

This is a photo I took last month of the bathing beauties.

Drain them, shake off any remaining water and set aside.

STUFFING COURGETTE BLOSSOMS

The classic ingredients in Rome are mozzarella and bits of anchovy fillet.  A little bit of basil leaf can be added too.

Cut or rip the mozzarella into pieces and leave to drain in a mesh sieve.  This is important because soggy mozzarella will result into soggy fried flowers.

Basil leaves on the left and fillets of anchovy on the right.

The mozzarella has to fit the size of the flowers, that much is obvious.  These were quite large fiori di zucca.  Place a little bit of anchovy on the mozzarella (a smaller amount for smaller flowers) …

Gently open the leaves of the blossom or blow into the blossom to help open it.  If you rip the side of one the leaves, tant pis.  Never mind.  Take heart, the batter will fix that in the course of frying.  Insert the mozzarella chunk with the anchovy bit into the flower …

Finally, pinch and twirl the tip so that it closes.  Work the blossoms in batches and set aside on a dry surface, making sure they flowers are placed with a little bit of space between them.  Another precious tip: do not stuff the courgette blossoms in advance!  oh what a mushy, soggy end is in sight if you do that.  They have to be stuffed and cooked almost at once — which is why it’s best to do this in two.

FRYING THE FIORI DI ZUCCA

The batter you made must be cold when you dip the courgette blossoms into it at the time of frying.  If it isn’t, put it into the freezer for a bit or in the fridge.

Now … depending on how many blossoms you are going to fry, you are going to have to choose an appropriate frying pan.  Do be generous with your oil — it must lie at least 3cm or about 1 and a half inches deep.  I use either olive oil, or groundnut (peanut) oil or sunflower oil (the latter not usually being recommended for frying but what can I say, it works for me).  The following are a selection of frying pans I’ve used for zucchini blossoms:

A small, ceramic based one …

A larger good-ol’ IKEA cheap and cheerful stainless steel one …

And my flavour-of-the-month cast-iron pan.

The first flowers take what will seem aeons to you to cook.  That’s the way it is with frying. The first are very very slow.  The last, on the other hand, are almost too fast.  Pace yourself and work is small batches.

As soon as the flowers have drained any excess oil, transfer to the serving dish.

Can you see the melted mozzarella inside?  Now is the time to sprinkle salt and serve.  These are photos of one year ago.  And the following are photos taken of the blossoms using the batter I described in the post yesterday.

Some of the batter can break away from the courgette blossom – that’s okay, you can draw it out with a slotted spoon and eat that too.

There is no photo of the final serving platter because they always get eaten before I have time to clean my hands, fetch the camera and click!

A special thanks to my darling long-suffering daughter who is always on hand to help me with the fiddly part of this recipe, fiori di zucca being one of her favourite dishes.  She claims I have taken far too much advantage of her untiring input and flatly told me she’d had enough of fiori di zucca for this year – but I don’t believe her!

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About myhomefoodthatsamore

Community celebration via food, wine and all beautiful things.
This entry was posted in Antipasti, Herbs and plants, italian home food, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Preparing Courgette Blossoms, Stuffing them and Frying Them

  1. Valentina says:

    Your looks so good. I am been blessed this year with a huge production of zucchini flowers in my garden. I stuff mine with brown/white rice, fish/meat and vegetable/spices, than bake them. Delicious!
    I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Enjoy it: http://valentinadesigns.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/good-day-sisters-by-valentina-cirasola-interior-designer/

  2. Awesome information I get in this website,keep up the good job.Thanks!

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