Within the past decade at this time of year, I have been fortunate enough to have been in Rome three times. And each time, I was blessed with enjoying an abundance of my favorite Roman snack, fried zucchini blossoms. My first time was with Chris, on the vacation to Tuscany during which we got engaged. He convinced me that these treats were nothing like their ultimate product, knowing I'm no fan of any type of squash. I tried them and was forever in love with Chris and his crispy fried stuffed flowers.
Our neighbor planted zucchini this year and, lucky for us, he has more than he can handle. He permitted us to take some blossoms, and we made them here at home, making sure to bring him a couple to taste. He loved them too, and we now have permission to pick whenever we like, as long as we share. Here's our recipe which makes eight blossoms:
8 squash blossoms, rinsed well
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into thin strips about as long as the flowers
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
dash cayenne pepper
oil for frying
Fill a frying pan up to about 1/2 inch with oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, stuff the blossoms with the strips of mozzarella. Make an egg wash by beating the egg and water together. Then mix together the flour, salt, paprika, black and red pepper in a shallow dish. When the oil is hot enough for frying, dip each blossom first in the egg wash, then in the flour mixture, and gently place it in the oil. Avoid crowding the blossoms - if the pan isn't large enough, do this is two batches of four. Cook each blossom approximately two minutes on each side, then let rest on a paper towel. Eat the entire thing while it's hot!