Fried Zucchini Blossoms

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I read about fried zucchini blossoms years ago, so the first time I saw the blossoms at the Farmers Market, just had to make them. My niece was a little unsure when she tried them, but declared that “these are better than French fries!” Consider yourself lucky if you have some in your garden or have a friend who will allow you to raid their garden.  I’ve included two batters because I think they are both wonderful!  It just isn’t summer without these little, golden beauties!

Method 1:

Canola oil for frying
1 ¾ cups unbleached flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chilled beer or chilled club soda/soda water
24 male zucchini blossoms** (if you like you can also use some 1/4 “ thick slices of zucchini)
Sea salt

**Male zucchini blossoms are the ones that grow directly on the stem of the plant, whereas the female ones have a tiny zucchini attached.

Lightly dust off the blossoms and remove the stamen. Put aside until ready to fry. It is best to remove the stamens as soon as you can because once the blossom collapses it is a bit of a challenge to remove them. You can place the blossoms in a paper towel lined container with a lid and store in the fridge for a few hours if necessary.

Pour enough oil into a heavy large pan, about 3” deep, (I like to use an electric frying pan as it has a built in thermometer). Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350 F.

Mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder & salt in large bowl. Add the beer. Whisk until smooth batter forms. When the oil is ready, dip the blossoms into the batter, carefully shake off excess and add to the hot oil, cooking about 6 per batch. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove with a “spider” or slotted spoon to a tray that has a couple of layers of paper towels on it.  Drain for a couple of minutes; place on a serving dish and enjoy!

Method 2:

3 cups or so canola oil for frying
1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
4 large egg whites
1 cup chilled dry white wine
½ tsp. baking powder
24 male zucchini flowers, stamens removed
Sea salt

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with the egg whites, white wine & baking powder; mix with a fork until a lumpy batter forms. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
In a large heavy pan about 3” deep, (I use my electric frying pan), heat the oil to 400 F. Lightly dredge 1 zucchini flower at a time in the remaining 1/3 cup of flour & then dip into the batter, letting excess drip off. Carefully place the zucchini flower in the oil. Fry the flowers 6 at a time, for 2 – 4 minutes, turning over with tongs when they are golden brown. Have ready a baking sheet lined with 2 layers of paper towels. Remove the browned blossoms from the oil onto the paper towels to drain a bit.

Place on a serving dish; sprinkle with sea salt and devour immediately! Oh my god, are these good!  I love, love, love them!

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