The most common way to cook zucchini flowers is frying them as they are or stuffing them with ricotta, dipped in batter and then fried.
Whenever I see zucchini flowers on a restaurant menu, itís the first dish I order. That first bite when you crunch into that thin crispy zucchini flower to discover the sweet and delicate creaminess of the ricotta leaves an imprint of pure perfection.
Zucchini Flowers with Ricotta Filling
Donít be scared making this dish at home as itís relatively easy and quick to prepare and cook and the result will be worth the effort.
Ingredients 8 Large Zucchini Flowers
200g Ricotta Cheese
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
1 Handful Fresh Basil Leaves
Ĺ Teaspoon Black Pepper
Ĺ Teaspoon Oregano
Ĺ Teaspoon Rosemary
2-3 Anchovy Fillets
ĺ Cup Rice Flour
ĺ Cup Cold Beer
Rice Bran Oil for Frying
Key ingredients to make the Zucchini Flowers with Ricotta Filling
Method Preparing the Ricotta Filling
In a bowl, combine the ricotta and parmesan cheese with the basil, black pepper, oregano, rosemary and anchovies. Salt isnít required as the anchovies will provide enough of the saltiness. You can omit the anchovies, if preferred.
Separate the petals of the zucchini flowers (this can be a little fiddly but the results are worth the perseverance). The male flowers contain a bright yellow stamen, therefore ensure you remove the stamens.
Fill each zucchini flower with the ricotta mix then twist the ends to seal.
Fill each Zucchini Flower with the Ricotta mix
Preparing the Batter
In a bowl, combine the rice flour, beer and egg and whisk until smooth. The consistency should resemble thick cream.
Prepare the Beer Batter
Dust the zucchini flowers in a little flour then dip into the batter.
Fry immediately in hot oil until crisp and golden.
Drain on paper towel.
Drain any excess oil on a paper towel
Serve while hot with lemon wedges.
Zucchini Flowers with Ricotta best served hot and with lemon wedges
Notes I used rice flour in this recipe as it allows a light and crusty-like texture to develop, you get a similar result to tempura. If you donít have rice flour, plain flour can be substituted without compromising the dish.
I used beer to make the batter (you can also use soda water). The carbonated fluid helps to aerate the batter producing a much lighter batter than if using ordinary water or milk.
I use rice bran oil as it has a higher temperature range when frying foods. It is also lighter than regular olive oil and is excellent for flash frying.