A quick dip in a simple batter and another dip in hot oil makes a classic Italian summer treat of delicately fried zucchini blossoms. We've included instructions for stuffing them with cheese, with is definitely a classic choice. Feel free to stuff the flowers with a teaspoon or two of fresh goat cheese or ricotta, if you like. You can really guild the lily by stirring a tablespoon or two of minced fresh herbs like mint, parsley, or basil into the cheese.
We tend to skip all of that, letting the zucchini blossoms soldier on alone, getting wonderfully crispy on the outside and flower-tender on the inside.
- Oil for frying
- 1 egg
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/3 to 2/3 cup club soda
- 1 to 2 dozen zucchini blossoms
- About 1/2 cup fresh goat cheese or ricotta (fully optional)*
Heat about 1/2 inch oil in a wide, deep pan to 375 F. Use a candy or frying thermometer to measure the temperature. No thermometer? Don't worry there are two other easy ways to make sure the oil is hot enough but not too hot: drop a breadcrumb into the oil, it should bob and sizzle in the oil immediately and brown in a few minutes, not immediately; or, stick the wooden handle of a kitchen spoon in the oil, the oil should bubble up around it immediately and steadily, but not violently or spatter. No immediate sizzle and the oil is too cold, too much sizzle and the oil is too hot.
If you're making cheese-stuffed zucchini blossoms, use a small spoon to tuck about 1 teaspoon of the cheese in each blossom—work it in between the petals very gently so that the petals stay closed. Again, this step is fully optional and one I usually skip so as to keep the focus on the fresh flavor of the blossoms themselves.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the egg. Beat in the flour and salt to make a thick batter. Whisk in enough of the club soda to make a very thin batter.
Working with one zucchini blossom at a time, hold each zucchini blossom by its stem and dip it into the batter, moving it as necessary to coat it fully with batter. Lift it out and let excess batter drip off and back into the bowl. Careful place it in the oil and cook, undisturbed, until golden on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook until golden on the other side, about 2 minutes. Only add as many zucchini blossoms fit in a single layer in the pan without touching so they all have room to cook.
When the blossoms are done, use a slotted spoon to lift them out of the oil. Quickly drain them on a layer of paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately.