Fried Squash Blossoms
When in Rome, locals enjoy fried food! Here is a recipe for a Roman fried treat that Romans and tourists enjoy!
In the summer months, Rome’s outdoor markets – like Campo dei Fiori – abound with orange-and-green zucchini blossoms. Roman cooks stuff Fiori di Zucca with a bit of cheese, frying them until crisp.
WHEN IN ROME EAT AS ROMANS DO
Both elegant restaurants and more rustic pizzerias serve fried antipasti in the Eternal City. For example, Fritto misto alla romana might include mix of fiori di zucca (fried zucchini flowers), olive ascolane (fried stuffed olives), and mozzarelline fritte (fried mozzarella cheese balls). Locals in Rome nibble on battered and deep-fried blossoms and fried cheese before digging into the filling first course — like classic carbonara.
Below, we’re sharing our Italian recipe for Roman-style fried squash blossoms. In other words, unless you try these savory fried flowers, you’re not tasting the true Rome. Relish a bite of the real Rome in your own home with this classic (and easy) Italian recipe:
FIORI DI ZUCCA ALLA ROMANA
pick 10-15 fresh zucchini flowers
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons of beer
some oil for frying (2-3 cups)
fresh mozzarella ball sliced into thin strips
anchovy fillets (or none if you don’t like them)
Remove the rigid base of the flower, careful not to damage any parts of the flower. Be careful – it can be spiny and prick your fingers. Place a sliver of mozzarella in each flower and, if you want, one anchovy. Do not to over-stuff. Set aside the filled blossoms.
No deep fryer is needed here; in a frying pan, pour 3-4 inches of oil and heat to 375 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the oil temperature by putting a little drop of the batter in the heated oil. If it sizzles and floats to the surface right away, it’s ready.
Start with the wet ingredients; while the oil heats beat the eggs (yolks and whites) with a fork. Time to add the dry ingredients; bit by bit, slowly sift the flour in, constantly stirring to avoid clumps. Once your pastella is the consistency of thick pancake batter, add the beer and whisk in; no pancake mix here! Dip each flower in batter, letting extra pastella drip off.
Fry the blossoms for 2-3 min per batch. Firstly, they should be crispy and lightly golden on all sides, like a french fry, but so much better! After that, set them on a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt. Once you have appropriately seasoned your fried zucchini blossoms, eat that Roman fried treat right away!