Zucchini Flowers in Beer Batter

Carl and I went away for the weekend.  The teenagers were left to fend for themselves and that wasn’t so bad, they’ve been on at me for years about how I need to let go and let them have their space.  So they had plenty of space because I walked out shutting the door behind me and didn’t look back.  I even took the car.  ‘Good luck getting around’, I yelled as I buckled up my seat belt and took off looking only in front of me.

Fresh Zucchini Flowers from the Farmers' Market

Fresh Zucchini Flowers from the Farmers’ Market

Alfie was just fine.  He had been invited for a sleep-over by one of his mates from school and his mother had said she would take them to laser tag the next morning so there was high excitement all round.  With everything perfectly organised, off we went.

Before we had to return to the big smoke we drove around Blackheath, a suburb in the Blue Mountains.  We were sightseeing but also looking for a cafe where we could enjoy some lunch.  While wandering the main street and looking for a cafe we discovered the Farmers’ Market was on and so went in to take a look around.  My intention was to photograph the market for you because it is set in a beautiful park next to the community hall and on a summer’s day the gardens are just stunning.

Beautiful Zucchini Flowers after Stuffing

Beautiful Zucchini Flowers after Stuffing

But I didn’t take any photos because we arrived just as the market was closing its doors and there was nothing to capture aside from foldaway tables being packed into vans.  But we were able to buy a few things.  I bought some purple carrots that I roasted tonight with a leg of lamb and we also found some amazing vine-ripened tomatoes that I finely sliced and covered in chopped basil then dressed with a good quality balsamic vinegar.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers in Beer Batter

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers in Beer Batter

But my find of the day was some really beautiful zucchini flowers.  I couldn’t resist them.  They were so fresh and stunning looking and I just had to have them.  We had a family dinner tonight and I served these as an entree and there was not even a crumb leftover.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers in Beer Batter

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers in Beer Batter

These look tricky but they truly are easier than they appear and I’d encourage anyone to attempt them as they would have to be one of the best ever appetisers or entrees – especially if you are a vegetarian!

A very affordable entree

A very affordable entree

And the teenagers survived just fine.  Arabella rose to the occasion and did some washing and some cleaning and even bathed the dogs.  Who knew she had it in her.  Archie had written a new song.  If he puts it on u-tube I’ll let you know.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers in Beer Batter

Serves:  That’s very variable.  Four to 16?

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5

Cost:  I would only ever buy zucchini flowers in season.  In season they are very reasonably priced.

  • 18 male or female zucchini flowers
  • 8 kalamata olives, halved, pitted
  • 2 anchovies
  • 8 small basil leaves
  • 200g fresh ricotta
  • Vegetable or for deep-frying
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Batter

  • 2/3 cup (100g) plain flour
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 150ml chilled light beer
  • 1 egg white

Finely chop olives, anchovies and basil.  Place in a bowl with ricotta and season to taste with pepper.  Spoon a teaspoonful of ricotta mixture into centre of each flower, then twist petal ends to enclose.  For batter, place flour and 1/2 tsp salt in a bowl.  Add oil and beer then whisk until a smooth batter forms.  In another bowl, whisk egg white until soft peaks form then gently fold into batter.

Line a tray with paper towels.  One-third fill a deep saucepan or deep-fryer with oil, then heat over medium heat until 180C, or a cube of bread browns in 15 seconds.  Working in batches of 4, dip flowers, 1 at a time, into batter, allowing excess to drain off, then deep-fry for 2 minutes or until golden.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to tray.  Repeat with remaining flowers and batter.  Scatter with salt and serve with lemon wedges.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers in Beer Batter

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers in Beer Batter

This recipe is from Taste and makes a great vegetarian entree.

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Comments

  1. They look fab! Am cursing as I grew zucchini this year and kept chickening out of stuffing the flowers. I think I have a deep-rooted fear of deep frying. Must get over it!!

  2. Glad you found those zucchini flowers at the farmers’ market.
    Your finished stuffed flowers look so gorgeous, the olives, anchovies and ricotta made great combination. I can see why there was not even a crumb leftover.
    How did the teenagers fare on their own?

  3. What a find indeed Charlie, they are simply incredible. I’m usually not much for deep fried things, but I must say, I would allow myself to splurge on these. It’s great that the teenagers were good on their own, did you take Alfie with you?
    Your little get-a-way to the Blue Mountains sounds absolutely romantic, I’d love to see some photos of the mountains

  4. These look and sounds fabulously delicious Charlie! I’ve never seen zucchini flowers before (outside of a garden) and didn’t realize you could eat them. I’m definitely keeping my eyes open for these this coming summer. :) Glad you guys got a weekend away too!

  5. They look beautiful and delicious! I’m not sure to find these around here, but I’ll try because they do look like the perfect appetizer. Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. I had no idea you could eat zucchini flowers. Most gardeners around here usually can’t give away all the zucchini they grow.

  7. Yippee, a weekend away for just you and Carl – going next weekend again? Fab recipe!
    :-) Mandy xo

  8. I’m definitely going to try these.. this summer I’m sure we’ll have zucchini flowers at the market here or in Vernon. Your teens must have been relieved when you came home and whipped up a batch of these for them:D xx

  9. Wow, those look great! I’d definitely be a member of the clean plate club if those were put in front of me. Great recipe – thanks so much.

  10. Yum! I’ve only had these once and it was in Rome on my first honeymoon!! They were delicious. Hope you enjoyed your alone time. Wink, wink. ;)

  11. This presentation has always seemed so elegant and intriguing to me. One day, I may find it in a restaurant and order it to taste because I don’t think I’ll take the time and effort to make it at home.

  12. I have tried zucchini flowers at home but it is just so classy :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  13. These look great, Charlie. Love the use of anchovy and kalamata olives in the ricotta. The only time I’ve seen zucchini flowers here are towards the end of Summer when the farmers’ estimate there isn’t enough time for the zucchini to ripen before Fall sets in. I’m going to pin your recipe so I know where it is when I get the flowers. Thanks — and I’m glad you got away for a little R&R. :)

  14. Love it, Charlie! We have heaps of squash flowers at the moment, I wonder if they would work as well? But I love more that you and Carl got to go away for a weekend – how absolutely fabulous for you! xx

    I’m a little bit wary of what the follow up post to this one might be though – did the kids leave the house intact? ;-)

  15. How lucky to have a weekend away! Last time we tried there was a medical emergency with littlej so now I’m more wary than usual :) Good thinking to farm out Alfie and to take the car… but I do wonder why the dogs were washed, what evidence was being destroyed? I pulled ‘the-dog-threw-up-on-the-rug’ trick to cover up party spills in my younger years!
    The flowers look just gorgeous indeed, the anchovies would add just the little flavour tweak too help the ricotta along- yummo!

  16. Those fried zucchini flowers look scrumptuous. I haven’t tried making them but may this spring with this inspiration. Yum!

  17. The flowers look so good, all crispy and ready to eat. I’ve never eaten zucchini flowers. I wonder if any of the markets around here will have them this summer? I’d love to try them.

  18. I haven’t had too many zucchini flowers but the few that I have had have been just amazing. You make it look too easy to make at home Charlie!

  19. Yum, I will have to make these with the next round of zucchinis that start growing. Hope you had a great weekend away with your man.

  20. They look fabulous. I did try a similar version once. Yours look amazing. The batter looks very light. Glad you had a lovely weekend away.
    Carolyn

  21. Looks delish! I’m growing zucchini’s on my balcony and there have been quite a few flowers, but this year I’m more interested in trying to get zucchinis to grow. Next year might be my flower stuffing year.

  22. Looks delish! I’m growing zucchini’s on my balcony and there have been quite a few flowers, but this year I’m more interested in trying to get zucchinis to grow. Next year might be my flower stuffing year…

  23. How did Alfie get on with the olives and anchovies? They are rather sophisticated fare. So sophisticated that I leave them alone. Congrats on leaving the family at home and getting away, just the two of you.

  24. LOL! I am really pleased that both you and the children survived! Well Done!!!
    The stuffed Zucchini looks so good, I have them growing at the moment but I have been so slack, I always intend to make this dish but never do. Can you tell me though, what is the difference between a male and female zucchini… (the all look a bit male to me :0!)

  25. What a gorgeous dish! I have never actually seen zucchini flowers, so it was nice to see what they looked like as well as how you prepared them. And I’m so glad you managed a weekend away, and that everyone survived well at home. Perhaps you can do it often, if Arabella does cleaning and washing?! :)

  26. I’ve always been a bit too scared to attempt zucchini flowers. Actually to be honest I’m scared of deep frying! I really must be brave. Glad they survived the weekend and go Arabella! x

  27. Bathed to dogs! Go Arabella! I’d much rather play laser tag than that ;)

  28. Fried zucchini are my weakness. Yours look great!

  29. So, do you two feel like newlyweds again after a weekend alone? The stuffed zucchini flowers look just perfect!

    I bet the young ones didn’t miss you. :)

    cleaned AND bathed the dogs too? She’s all grown up!

  30. These look fantastic! Your mix is a tad different to mine and I can taste it without having made the stuffed flowers! Moreso can see myself using the ricotta mix for a multitude of other things as well! inspired1 Thanks!!

  31. Aww a gold star for Arabella and yes please share Archie’s song once it goes on youtube and outdoes Gangnam Style ;)

  32. Love stuffed zucchini flowers – always order them when they are on a menu anywhere. Never cooked them myself as I presumed they are too fiddly. You have encouraged me to look at this again. So glad your kids did not starve while you were away – but then you know they are extremely capable enterprising young adults!

  33. Mmm zucchini flowers are such a gorgeous recipe. Yours look so beautifully fresh too, I would have had difficulty refusing those as well :)

  34. I have never seen zucchini blossoms prepared in such an imaginative way! They look wonderful and would make such a great presentation. You are a most creative cook, Charlie. I do hope your weekend away was great refreshment!

  35. Well done kids :) They were able to look after themselves and definitely thumbs up to Arabella for helping you do some cleaning and gave the dogs a bath! I’m so glad to hear that you and Carl got the chance to go away for the weekend to just relax and spend some quality time together!

    I imagine how hard it will be to get these kind of times now that you’re working, blogging and also a full time mum :D

    The zucchini flowers look amazing i’ve had them in restaurants before but never seen them selling in supermarkets ~ Will hunt them down hehe

  36. Those look so good and they turn out so pretty! Will definitely have to try that this summer when all of the farms and stands open. I am ready for spring! We had a blizzard over the weekend and I’m looking out the window at three feet of snow and now…freezing rain. Spring please! ;)

  37. Wow, I have never seen these before but they sure do look delicious!

  38. These look wonderful. I love zucchini flowers but they aren’t that readily available here. Great photos by the way. GG

  39. These look so very good. I love fried zucchini flowers, but haven’t used beer batter. Now I will! They are very popular in Mexico, but cooked in different. I can only dream that m 23-year-old son might bathe the dogs…how lovely.

  40. Your kids are awesome Charlie, and you know they ‘have’ it in them, hahaha! But I know where you are coming from, because I fret the same way with my brand new teen.

    Those flowers look so tempting, fresh and crunchy, that I want to make some now. Guess what? You inspired me to cook tonight. I don’t have zucchini flowers, but I am sure I will find something.

  41. Now that’s the way courgettes (sorry, zucchinis) should be served! Tiny, stuffed full of cheese, coated in batter and deep fried! I’ve never had their flowers before, although I’ve always wanted to cook with them. Is the flower itself flavoursome, or is it one of those things that is used mainly for its “whoa, so pretty” value?

    • The flower has a mild flavour but mixed with the batter and seasonings it’s sensational. These would have to be one of my most favourite desserts – every time they’re on a restaurant menu I order them.

  42. I remember when my mum would go away for work, my brother and I would totally trash the house with the intention of cleaning it up in the 30 minutes before she was expected home. Of course, this meant that on the odd occasion that she arrived home early the house would look like a bomb had hit it, and she had the audacity to be annoyed by that when SHE was the one who didn’t arrive on schedule. Nope, no voluntary dog washing to be seen here!

  43. My sister only eats fried zuccini. If I put it in beer batter she’d love me forever.

  44. Gorgeous photos of he delicious zucchini flowers…I love them, especially stuffed and fried. It’s fun to find great stuff at the market and if it’s reasonably priced. Our markets are very expensive..how are yours?

    Nazneen

  45. WOW! These are absolutely beautiful! I have to admit that I’ve never had a fried zucchini flower, but now I can’t wait for summer to come along and plant my own zucchini. Gorgeous job!

  46. YUM! I am bookmarking this one for the season. Can’t wait to try them.

  47. I haven’t had zucchini flowers in my life, but have seen them many times on food blogs. I will REALLY look for these. I need to check out the season too. I don’t know when they come out to the market. It sounds so good. I love fried food in general and beer batter + zucchini flowers make me look forward to it. Glad your children were all safe and good. I cannot wait to go out without the kids one day. Hopefully when they can do sleep over with their friends, my husband and I can go out alone! :D Saving this recipe for the future. Thanks Charlie!

  48. I’ve seen zucchini flowers on cooking shows, but have never tried making them at home. Yours look absolutely mouthwatering! I was also thinking your beer batter would work well on our first fish out of the lake this Spring. :) Glad to hear you “got away” without incident — three cheers for your kids, too!

  49. I’m picking my zucchinis complete with flowers at the moment, and have been wondering how to cook the flowers. Thank you, this looks fabulous.

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