One of my many favorite treats that my mom makes is fried zucchini flowers. The flowers are picked in the morning when they are open and you want to pick only the male flowers. The female flowers are the ones that produce your fruit. On zucchini it is easy to tell because the male flowers have a long, skinny stem. The females have more of an “ovary” at the base of the flower which will become a zucchini. The flowers are delicate so you do want to be careful when picking them. You should be able to gently tug at the base of the flower and get just what you need in one piece. Watch out for bees!
Gently wash the flowers and sort of rub the base of each one together to clean out the pollen. Lay them to dry on a towel. If you don’t get enough to use in one picking you can layer them on paper towels in a ziplock and store the in the frig for a few days.
I decided to add some filling this time to see how they tasted. Usually I do it like my mom and just dip the plain flowers into an egg/milk batter and then dredge in flour/garlic salt mix. For these I used an 8oz. block of cream cheese, softened, a little bit of chopped onion, fresh minced garlic, some fresh basil and parsley. Stirred it up and tasted it to make sure I liked it.
Next gently split each flower open and spread a little more than a teaspoon of filling into each one, close it up and twist the end tips of the flowers to keep them closed a little better. I stuck them in the freezer for a while to get nice and hard before frying in hopes that they would stay together. Worked like a charm!
When your olive oil is hot enough coat the flowers with egg/milk and then dredge them in flour/garlic salt. Fry them to a golden brown and place on a napkin covered plate to drain some of the excess grease.
You could sprinkle a bit of sea salt over the top but I didn’t feel a need with all of the flavors already inside! They were very tasty! We took them to grill out with friends and there was not a single one left.
I used zucchini and pumpkin flowers because my zucchini are not doing so well right now. You can do this with any type of squash flower you can find.