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July 19, 2012

What’s Cooking? Zucchini Flowers in Italy

Well, we were extremely lucky during our visit last month in Italy for many reasons and one was my cooking lesson with Barbara. One owners’ wife, Barbara, who spoke some English, found out that I liked to cook and so does she. She offered to stop by one afternoon and talk about cooking. Well, with her husband’s help in translating, we discussed some Tuscan cooking. She offered to take me to the garden where we picked these zucchini flowers and then prepared them in our kitchen. Barbara and I were so excited to be conversing and doing what we both love to do, cook! It was such a curious experience to learn something so new to me and to be doing it with a lovey local Italian person.

After we picked several small zucchini flowers from the family and guest garden we proceeded to our kitchen to clean and prepare them. She explained that it was important to open them and let them rinse very well because of “tiny little animals” inside. Of course she meant to say bugs. But I know while learning another language you need to forgive the translation technicalities . I can only imagine things I may have said unknowingly as I struggled using the bits of Spanish I know, which they seemed to understand better than my English! Any way here are the beautiful little flowers we cleaned and dried.

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Make the batter:

As they were drying we mixed up some all purpose flour with some carbonated water. You could substitute beer also. Plus you need a couple pinches of salt. Mix it into a thick batter (like pancake batter). We didn’t measure, which I loved; we just did it by sight.

Heat the oil in a deep pot:

Take a pot and place at least 3 inches of vegetable oil in it. We only had olive oil so that’s why I used it sparingly! Turn your stove on so that it’s hot but not smoking.

Deep fry the flowers:

After you have the batter, and the flowers are some what dried, dip one at time in the batter dredging it completely. Then gently place it in the oil holding it from the stem.

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If you don’t have enough oil then you’ll need to gently roll them over.

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They are done when they turn golden brown as you see above and below.

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Well, that’s me on the left and Barbara on the right having an enjoyable afternoon in the kitchen!

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Buon Appetito!

Posted by Lesher
at 2:51 am
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