Fried Zucchini Blossoms

Fiori Fritti dello Zucchini

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For a number of years now, it seems that every cook and chef on television has demonstrated the fine art of stuffing zucchini/squash blossoms before being fried. This was not something we ever tried at the two-flat. First of all, Grandpa would never plant something in his garden that would take up so much space. Tomatoes were his main interest and a plant that sprawled, no matter what kind, just wasn’t welcome. More importantly, even if he found a suitable spot for, say, zucchini, picking the blossoms would not have been acceptable to him in the slightest. He planted zucchini and anything that would lessen the crop would not have been allowed. So, without the crutch of a family recipe, I headed into new territory when I bought my first bunch of zucchini blossoms late last Summer.

Those first blossoms proved to be a disaster. They were an impulse buy and I’d no idea how to store them, so, I treated them like I would cut flowers. I awoke the next morning to find a wilted mess in a glass of water. That was the last I saw of blossoms until a few weeks ago, when I came across some at the farmers market. With my car in the shop, they survived the trip home in surprisingly good shape. Problems arose, however, when it came to creating a stuffing. Not wishing to test the CTA’s reliability a 2nd time that day, I raided the fridge, finding fresh mozzarella and fontinella cheeses. A quick trip to the corner store and I returned with a 1/2 gallon of whole milk that was used to make ricotta. These three cheeses were used to prepare the stuffing used in today’s recipe.

With the stuffing decided, I set about creating a batter to coat them. I tried a number of versions, over the course of 3 Saturdays, finally settling on a batter of flour, corn starch, cornmeal, and club soda. This batter was, by far, the best, resulting in blossoms that were crispy without being buried in batter.

I also continued to experiment with fillings. My favorite consisted of mozzarella and anchovies. Unfortunately, my photos from that batch were a mess, though I did post the “best” one later in this post.

There is one more thing worth mentioning. Be sure to open each blossom and check to see if there are any stow-aways. Although any one of a number of insects might be found lurking in there, I’m more concerned with creatures of the eight-legged variety. Although I’ve yet to come across one, I check the blossoms over the sink with the garbage disposal running. Just sayin’ …

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I’ll be leaving for Michigan and the Kitchens will be closed as a result. It’s time for a little R&R on the beach with Max. See you in 2 weeks.

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Che Bei Fiori!

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Fried Zucchini Blossoms Recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh zucchini/squash blossoms
  • 2 oz (56 g) mozzarella, grated
  • 2 oz (56 g) fontinella, grated
  • 4 oz (113 g) whole milk ricotta, well-drained
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch/flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • club soda
  • salt & pepper
  • oil for frying

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Fontinella, Ricotta, & Mozzarella Cheeses

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Directions

  1. Using tweezers, remove stamen and gently wash each blossom. Carefully blot each one dry. Remove the stems just beneath the blossom.
  2. Place a coffee filter into a strainer and add ricotta. Allow to drain a couple of hours. Discard the liquid (whey) and reserve the ricotta.
  3. Coarsely grate mozzarella and fontinella cheeses. (See Notes)
  4. Combine ricotta, mozzarella, and fontinella cheeses. Mix well.
  5. Add flour, corn starch, salt & pepper into a bowl and whisk to combine.
  6. Add enough club soda to make a batter.
  7. Place the cheese mixture  into a pastry bag or plastic storage bag. If using the latter, cut off one of the bag’s bottom corners and force the cheese into that part of the bag.
  8. Grab hold of a blossom in one hand and gently separate the petals to reveal a “pocket”. Gently blowing into the blossom may help open it up.
  9. Place the tip of the cheese-filled pasty/plastic bag into the pocket and squeeze some of the cheese into the blossom. Do not overfill nor allow the blossom to split. Continue until all are stuffed.
  10. Fill a medium-sized sauce pan with about 2 inches (5 cm) of oil. Heat to about 350˚. You’ll know it is hot enough if a bit of batter instantly begins to fry when dropped into the hot oil.
  11. Take one blossom and twist the petal ends to seal the cheese inside. Grabbing hold of the twisted petal ends, dip the blossom into the batter to cover. Drain excess batter and then place in the hot oil. Continue with more blossoms. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  12. When golden brown (2 to 4 minutes), flip each blossom. Fry for another 2 minutes
  13. Remove to a paper towel lined dish and season with salt.
  14. Serve immediately

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Variations

Though stuffed blossoms are wonderful when fried, you really don’t need to stuff them with anything before frying. Just dip them in the batter and fry them. You’ll get a light, crispy treat without the hassle of trying to fill blossoms with cheese.

Mozzarella & Anchovy  Zucchini Blossom

You can stuff the blossoms with whatever you like. Any cheese or mixture of cheeses will work. I chose a combination of 3 cheese for this post. My favorites, though were blossoms stuffed with mozzarella and an anchovy. Simply prepare the blossom as indicated above, cut a stick of mozzarella, wrap it with an anchovy, insert both into the blossom before dredging and frying. Unfortunately, the photo on the right is the best of those I took that afternoon.

There are several ways to coat your blossoms. Some prefer to use eggs in their batter while others “go it alone” with just a coating of flour. Some use breadcrumbs to form a coating and others like only flour. I like a thinner batter, so, I use a little club soda poured into a mixture of 1 part each of corn meal and corn starch/flour for every 2 parts AP flour. When mixed, I prefer a batter that’s a little thicker than buttermilk but not quite as thick as pancake batter.

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Notes

I’ve yet to discover a good way to store blossoms. I was told to treat them like freshly cut flowers and that didn’t work. I’ve since searched the web and it’s suggested that the blossoms be tightly sealed and refrigerated. (One of the vendors expressly stated not to refrigerate them.) I’ve yet to try this for when I returned last weekend for more blossoms, none were to be found — hence the blurry photo above.

By far, the easiest way to stuff a blossom is to use a pastry or plastic bag, tip inserted into the blossom. If and when I find more blossoms, I think I’ll try the 3 cheeses again, only doubling the amount of mozzarella and fontinella before adding chopped anchovies to the mixture. Yes, I do love my anchovies!

Whenever soft cheeses like mozzarella need to be grated, it’s easiest if your place the cheese in the freezer for about 30 minutes beforehand. This should harden the cheese a bit, making grating a snap.

Initially, I tried a shallow fry, using about a half-inch of oil in the pan. I did not like the results at all. The lack of oil meant the blossoms had to be “handled” more so that they could be flipped and evenly fried. This raised the risk of damaged blossoms and leaking cheese. Using about 2 inches (5 cm) of oil made frying so much easier and consequently no blossoms were harmed in the making of this tasty treat.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

For many, a meal isn’t complete until coffee and an after-dinner liqueur are served. If that meal is served during the Summer, a dish of ice cream is very often part of the equation. With an eye towards reducing the average dishwasher’s workload, the Italians took these 3 traditions and united them in one simple dessert, affogato al caffè. Often served in a cup, affogato is a combination of ice cream and espresso, with an optional shot of your favorite liqueur. I think you’ll agree that an affogato is a wonderful way to end a meal — without having to loosen your belt afterward. You can see directions for creating a variety of affogati by clicking HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Baccalà Salad

Baccalà Salad

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214 thoughts on “Fried Zucchini Blossoms

  1. Wonderful post, John! I became legitimately hungry reading it, even if I am feeling a bit creepy-crawly at the thought of who might be lurking within my blossoms (earwigs! eek!). Your directions are fabulous. And although I’ve stuffed zucchini blossoms, I’ve generally been pretty boring in my approach. I am eager to try your mozzarella-anchovy version.

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    • Thanks, Susan. Earwigs don’t bother me in the slightest. Should I see a spider, though, and I’ll be wearing elbow-length industrial gloves when I open any blossoms after that. 🙂

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  2. These look great John! I saw some blossoms at my farmers market last Saturday but I didn’t get any. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them and like you wasn’t quite sure how to store them. Now, if I find some this week, I will definitely pick some up, I think they would make a good Iftar!

    Have a great trip! I am sure there will be some great cooking going on while you’re there too,

    Nazneen

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    • Thanks, Nazneen. I know exactly what you mean when first facing those blossoms but I’ve seen them prepared on TV so many times that I was emboldened. For me, it would be great if I could prepare the cheese filling ahead of time and then buy the blossoms — but I never know if there’s going to be any at the market. Mind, the cheese is tasty but I’d rather have it in a blossom than a cracker. 🙂 I’m looking forward to this visit. Thanks for the well-wishes.

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  3. Checking the blossoms over the sink with the garbage disposal running….. *smiling*
    If I found anything in the blossom I’d scream, and drop the whole shebang down the drain.
    Have a great vacation!

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    • I’ve yet to find anything but every time someone on TV or the web mentions preparing blossoms, they utter a warning. Every time. There must be some truth to it. I think a spider might put me off zucchini blossoms for quite some time. Thanks, I’m sure it will be a great visit.

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  4. Grandpa was strict with what he planted in his garden. 🙂 Anyway, the cheese stuffing sounds delightful! You can’t go wrong with that. I flush all insects, including the eight-legged ones either down the toilet or down the drain then turn on my garbage disposal, all the while thinking “die you bastard!” haha! They give me the heebie jeebies! Have a great rest of the week John.

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    • Grandpa and his garden were legendary in our neighborhood and parish. Nothing was allowed that might threaten his tomatoes. Yes, it sounds strict but his garden supplied the 12 of us with all of the tomatoes we needed starting in July.You just can’t argue with success. 🙂 Thanks, Anne, for the compliments and vacation well-wishes.

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  5. Hope you will have the most fantastic fortnight off Milord!!! Am happy you are willing to take on ‘new stuff’ also besides all your old and wonderful family recipes! Zucchini blossoms, if I find them, do not last long enough at my house to worry about storage 🙂 ! But I DO so agree with your Grandpa and always have: the plants are there for the production of fruit and I prefer not to remove anything until I have gotten at the real McCoy!! Love that you use ‘club soda’ which we here simply call ‘soda water’ as a partial raising agent. Meanwhile you all enjoy 😀 !!

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    • Thanks, Eha. I bet you would have loved Grandpa. He was a character. It’s been so warm here of late that the blossoms start wilting badly within a few hours. I’m really looking forward to this visit. It will be a welcome break from this heat wave. Have a great 2 weeks!

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  6. Looks great. I used to steam them with salmon mousse at one of the restaurants I’ve worked at. Also had them in Greece, stuffed with rice and cooked in a lemony sauce, just like stuffed grape leaves. It’s been a while and your post triggered a will to make it again… 🙂

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    • Both of your versions sounds delicious and I’m sure I’d love them. The only problem with the Greek version is that I really do like the flavor the grape leaves impart to the dish. Then again, you didn’t say it was an “either/or” situation. I’ll have both, please. 🙂

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  7. You have give me a few ideas… the mozzarella/anchovy combo especially. I prefer a light batter as well and deep oil as you suggest. Next time I’m going to buy and eat them the same day, I think as nature intended. One day I’m going grow zucchinis just for the flowers… I may as well as the G.O. won’t eat zucchini no matter how I prepare it.
    Enjoy your break 😉

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    • Thanks, EllaDee. A few people in the comments have given their favorite ways to prepare them and I’m looking forward to getting more blossoms. No matter what, though, I need to see if they’ll keep by sealing them in a plastic bag and then placing them into the fridge. I’m at the farmers market at 7:30 am. Having to rush home and fry blossoms in a few hours is hardly ideal. It’s OK if I’m blogging the recipe and taking photos. It’s certainly not OK if I’m planning on serving them for a Sunday dinner with friends. There has to be a way. Restaurants do it. Maybe they partially cook them. I’ll figure it out. Stay tuned …

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  8. Have a wonderful vacation! I love zucchini flowers, though I will admit that I’m so lazy I usually just batter and fry them empty. Here in Turkey they ae stuffed rather elborately with seasoned rice, so that makes me look doubly slovenly. That affogato looks lovely too, and so easy to make that it would be a crime not to do it! I’ll have mine with amaretto…

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    • Thank you. To be honest, every time I made I grew tired of stuffing them and eventually just dipped them in the batter. And I enjoyed them, too. 🙂
      Affogato are so easy to make and a perfect end to a Summer’s meal. And, yes, the amaretto is very nice. (By the way, the cherries are doing fine!)

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  9. I could eat those for breakfast with a baccalà salad!
    I most impressed that you were so thorough with you batter testing. Mozzarella with anchovies sounds divine.
    Have a wonderful vacation 😉

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    • Thanks, Maureen. I’ve heard so many people say the same about zucchini plants. It’s a wonder more people don’t fry up as many blossoms as they can. How much zucchini bread can a family eat? 🙂

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  10. Only ever tried these once John, but really enjoyed them. A bit scarce around my way, but once I get the land I’m working towards, I’ll be growing plenty (along with everything else) I’ll be sure to look up your recipe again if I do!

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    • I bet that will be some garden, once you get it together. Once you do get some blossoms and if you do come back here, be sure to check these comments. A few have given their versions for preparing blossoms and they sound very good. 🙂

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  11. were used to make “fritters’ zucchini flower fritters, just chop up the blossom and add it to a think pancake like dough…OMGosh I want one right now, but I have seen them stuff in some restaurants too… nice Job John…enjoy your vacay!!!

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    • Thanks, Maria. I’ve never tried the fritters but they sounds tasty. This comments section is filled with great suggestions. Thanks for adding yours. It’s been hot here but certainly not as bad as further South. Have a great week!

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  12. Perfect timing with this post! I have zucchini growning in my garden and always wanted to try fried zucchini blossoms. My grandpa and dad never really liked growing zucchinig for the same reason you mentioned above. I have 4 garden beds and we had to have one just for the zucchini. Have a nice two week break in Michigan!

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    • 4 garden beds?!?! Sounds great, Lisa. Although I chose cheese to stuff the blossoms, others in the comments have used other ingredients, each better sounding than the one before. I can’t wait to get more blossoms next weekend and try again.

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  13. I will go for the mozzarella and anchovies version but the cheese mixture with chopped anchovies added sounds good also. With the oppressive heat wave hanging around for another few day, a large bowl of the chocolate affogatti will make it more bearable.
    Have a wonderful and restful vacation.

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  14. You are leaving for TWO WEEKS? Well, what are we supposed to do with our Bartolini Kitchen’s withdrawal syndrome?????

    oh, well – will be here waiting anxiously for a full report of your adventures, relax and enjoy your trip!

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  15. I always want to stand up and cheer after reading your posts. You write a good balance of “technical” know-how, fun-to-read prose, and warms-the-heart nostalgia.

    For all my love of gardening, our soil has a bug that gnaws through squash stems, so we don’t grow. I have purchased the blossoms at markets before, but disaster followed. Now I know where to turn it’s time to go at it again. Am always impressed by how thorough you are with kitchen projects. Happy road tripping and my best to Max 🙂

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  16. A good friend of mine said you should only use the non-fruit bearing flowers so you still get zucchini. Of course I have no idea how to tell the difference until the zucchini appear and by then the non-fruit bearing flowers have gone off!

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  17. Great story about the blossoms. I’ve cooked with these (never stuffed) when I worked at a restaurant but never made them at home. I eyed them in the garden this spring but decided I wasn’t going to mess with the pretty plants (my tomatoes aren’t looking so great this year). But your recipe has tempted me as yours look absolutely delicious. But what wouldn’t with home made ricotta??

    Have fun in MI. Weekend weather should be cooler than this past week….

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    • Thanks! It started out very warm in Michigan but after a few days it rained and cooled off, thankfully. All in all, it was a great trip. If I could only figure out a way to bring some of these blossoms with me. My Zia would get such a kick from them. 🙂

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  18. Since I don’t watch tv (not even sure how to turn it on with all those clickers & buttons), I rely completely on you to let me know what’s trending in the food-o-sphere. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never heard of eating zucchini blossoms but these really look appetizing. You really made me laugh with the comment about checking inside the blossom for visitors because if you’ll recall those stuffed artichokes that I just posted about…well the very first time I got my husband to try them, he finished almost the entire thing then bit into a very crunchy leaf. It looked like a fried grasshopper to me but who knows. Maybe that’s why he’s a little cautious now eating them.
    Enjoy your well deserved vacation. I’m guessing that Max has great plans for the beach.

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    • Yeah, you have to be careful with those artichokes. I took pictures of mine for the blog and, thankfully, I checked the pics before proceeding. I noticed what I thought was some dirt. Turned out to be a tiny worm. That artichoke got tossed and I’ve been ever so careful inspecting them ever since. 🙂
      Max was meant for the beach and napped the rest of the time.

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    • Thanks, Meredith. Lake Huron, in this area, has a long, shallow beach. The water is surprisingly warm for quite some distance. There is a drop-off, though, and the water temperature really drops, too.

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  19. Thank you for experimenting and sharing the results with us! This sounds like the best way to go, especially with home-made ricotta. Looks delicious and although I have never cooked zucchini blossoms I feel I may just be able to do so now. Have a great vacation! 🙂

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  20. I’ve eaten zucchini blossoms, but never prepared them myself. Great tutorial! The mozzarella and anchovy combo does sound excellent, but then they all do! Great tip about briefly freezing mozzarella before grating – that’s something I only recently learned, and it makes a huge difference. Fun recipe and post, and I hope you and Max have a great vacation! Remember your sunscreen. 😉

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    • I’m glad, John, that you enjoyed what’s proven to be an interesting post, all around. A few commenters have remarked upon their stuffing recipes, from Indian spices to salmon mousse. I’m hoping they will post their recipes because I’ll gladly try them, now that I seem to have a steady supply of blossoms.
      Thanks for the vacation well-wishes. Bug repellant & sun screen are permanent residients in my shaving kit. I don’t leave home without ’em. 🙂

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  21. Gorgeous, just gorgeous! Stuffed courgette (zucchini) flowers are a traditional Cretan dish, but they stuff them with a rice mixture (similar to the Greek stuffed tomato filling). I think your version suits my cheese loving taste buds even more!

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  22. Sad to say, I’ve never had these let alone made them. Which is funny since they are growing the garden! Enjoy your vacation!

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  23. Fried zucchini blossoms! Can’t wait to try them. I love zucchini, but never tried blossoms and this recipe is sure to be tried in my household. Fried, cheesy and salty, I love it. Enjoy your vacation. There is no place like the beach in the heat.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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    • Thanks, Francine. Yes, these blossoms have the Big Three covered: cheese, fried, and salted. Yum! We had a wonderful time with Zia. Max was made for a beach. He loves the water.

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    • Thank you! You use the blossoms in soup? I have learned so much in this post. I’d no idea that so many people cooked the blossoms and in so many ways. I hope everyone posts the recipes. Now that I have a good source for the blossoms, I can’t wait to experiment. 🙂

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        • Isn’t it surprising? Francesca wrote that she has some 30 recipes but cannot find the blossoms. 30 recipes! I really wasn’t prepared for that. If they’d last, i’d gladly send her some just to learn how she’d prepare them.

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  24. Oh my goodness, but stuffed fried zucchini blossom and affogati? Such decadence, both! I’m just amazed at how hard you worked to perfect your blossoms, John. You could have your own cooking show quite easily-I know you love Lidia–so maybe some day youtube! 🙂 I have on occasion seen the blossoms at the Farmer’s Market and really didn’t have any ideas about them. Now I would definitely give them a try, probably if I had company. I’d want the accolades for my effort. 🙂 I thought your photos were just fine. They provided me the information I needed. This was actually fun to read. I’ll be curious about the results if you try to refrigerate them. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Debra for your kind and supportive words. THis post has proven to be a real learning experience. Not only did I teach myself how to prepare the blossoms but a few of the commenters have given suggestions for other versions and each sounds wonderful. You’re far more brave than I when it comes to trying new dishes. I rarely try something new on guests. I’ve had far too many failures to subject friends to one of them. I made these blossoms for myself, at first. It’s a good system, actually. When the dish works, there’s no one to share it with. And I really did enjoy these blossoms! 🙂

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  25. Stuffed zucchini blossoms have always sounded so delicious, yours look superb. Like your grandpa, I too have a hard time with the idea of removing a blossom from one of my zucchini plants for such a recipe … the anticipation of harvest is too great! I’ll see if I can find some blossoms at the farmers market though, then I can have the best of both worlds. 🙂

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    • I’d have to agree with you and Grandpa. Unless I’ve got a couple plants thriving in the garden, Judy, I’d have a tough time cutting the blossoms. They are good fried, though. If a few just happened to “fall” off the plants, well, that would be ok. 😉

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  26. that stuffing of anchovies and mozzarella sounds delicious! I’ve never made nor had fried zucchini blossoms, but it is very popular on tv like you mention! hahaha, I don’t think I’ve ever even seen blossoms at the supermarket, I will probably need to seek them at a farmers market nearby. thanks for this beautiful post John!

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    • Thank you, Paul. I’ve never seen blossoms in any of the markets I frequent. I don’t think they’d last long enough for a grocery to be able to offer them. One of the vendors at the farmers market told me that by the end of the day, the blossoms are no longer good and have to be tossed. I’m looking forward to buying more this week. I want to see if any of the suggestions I’ve received will work so that I can prepare the blossoms later than the same day I bought them. That would be so much more convenient.

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  27. These look and sound fabulous. I have always wanted to try making them and I also would like to try eating them. Have never done either! If I can find some flowers I will be brave and eat those fried, salty, cheesy things. And avoid the spiders. Have a great vacay in Michigan. Used to go there as a kid and it brings back happy memories!

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    • Thanks, Abbe, and no matter how you prepare them, do look out for the spiders. I’ve prepared enough of them that should I find an eight-legged stow-away, I could dispatch it and continue. Had I found one in the first set of blossoms, I doubt I ever would have cooked them but would have sent them all down the garbage disposal. I had a wonderful visit, thank you. So much of Michigan is just as it was when I was young and we traveled around the state. Perfect!

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  28. My SIL grew zucchinis in her back yard a few years ago, one time she came home and her Filipino nanny took the blossoms and stuffed them and fried them, my SIL never heard of it so she had to google it to make sure it wasn’t poison. Now she is a total convert, although she doesn’t make them herself as she isn’t much of an experimenter in the kitchen. I’m not a huge fan of fried food, but I would be all over this one John. I admire your persistence and determination, we benefit so much from your tried and true recipes. Hope you and Max have a fantastic time off at the beach and that you’re nicely refreshed for the upcoming festivities in August (nudge nudge, wink wink).

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    • Thanks, Eva. I wonder how the nanny stuffed them Commenters have given me plenty of ideas. I’d no idea that there were so many recipes. Max had a wonderful time at the beach and roaming the countryside. My Cousin came for a visit and he & Max were inseparable. They went everywhere together — and I had a very nice vacation. Looking forward to the upcoming “festivities”, too. 😉

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  29. I know I’ve said this before, but I will say it again. I can not come her eon an empty stomach LOL. I am so hungry right now and these zucchini blossoms would be perfect for today.

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  30. Never tried this at home – I’ve always considered it “too fiddly”. Might give it a shot though…we’re swimming in zucchini blossoms!
    Have a good time in Michigan – I assume this means the car is fixed? Give Zia our love!

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    • Thanks, Marie. If you keep the filling soft enough, it’s really not a problem filling each blossom with a pastry bag, or something similar. It’s quite easy actually.
      I had a wonderful visit and yes, the car was fixed, though we’re returning tomorrow for Round 3. (sigh)

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  31. I have a hard enough time getting my mother to stay away from the zucchini blossoms when she visits. I am fascinated with your recipe. When me and Mister Jack quit being zucchini farmers or are up to our ears in zucchini, we will give it a try. We’re getting close!

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  32. The absolutely perfect look of your zucchini blossoms belie the fact that you had such a trial perfecting them, John! I do love stuffed and fried zucchini blossoms but have only had them in restaurants as I’ve had much fear of trying my hand at making them. Your tips are great as always and I can almost taste how lovely and crispy these are. 🙂 Have a fantastic vacation!

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    • Thanks, Betsy. They really aren’t that bad to prepare, once you’ve tried a couple. If you can use a stuffing that’s soft enough for a pastry bag, then you’ll be fine. Hard fillings will find wishing for a 3rd hand. 🙂

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  33. OK, John, this is what I am talking about. I love, love, love fried stuffed squash blossoms!!!! These look stupendous. You can stuff them with a variety of things although cheese is my favorite. Have you tried stuffing them with crab??? That’s good, too. They are soooo delicate, yet they have that nice little textural crunch from the frying. I need to calm down now because my heart is racing. Thanks for sharing the photos and recipe. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Richard. No, I’ve not tried crab but I bet it’s delicious! Another commenter suggested salmon mousse, though the blossoms are steamed and not fried. There have been a few other suggestions, as well. To be honest, I’d no idea that so many cuisines stuffed blossoms. This post has been a real education for me. Love it!

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  34. Oh yum! I’ve never tried these, let alone cooked with them. I wonder if I could pull this off? They look so interesting and well, flat out delicious! One day, I’ll be brave and give them a try. Thanks John! And safe travels!

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    • Pull it off? Aren’t you the one that made ravioli with raw egg inside? Stuffed blossoms are child’s play in comparison, Sarah. Just use a filling soft enough for a pastry bag and you’ll be fine. And you’ll be rewarded with a cheesy treat covered with a crispy, salty coating. Mmmmm

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      • Oh yeah. I did. That was a good day 🙂

        I’ve been looking for some blossoms these past few days. Hopefully they’ll be made here shortly. Now that you’ve doubled down on the deliciousness! 🙂

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        • I told my Zia about your ravioli. Darn internet wouldn’t allow me to load the post but Zia was very impressed. She’d never seen anything like it. Well, she still hasn’t but I’ll figure out a way to show them to her next time I visit. 🙂
          Good luck. I hope you find some blossoms.

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  35. Oh, John, I absolutely adore squash blossoms. Our farmer friends tell us that they just don’t sell here (though they sell out immediately an hour and a half up the road in Cincinnati … go figure). In those rare instances when I can find them, I usually stuff with mozzarella and herbs and then dip in flour and then egg and then cornmeal. But anchovies??? Perfect! I wish I’d thought of that, and now really hope that I find somebody selling them this summer to try that. Have a wonderful vacation!

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    • Thank you, Michelle. I used the batter i did because I thought egg would be too thick. Seeing that you prepare yours that way has me wanting to try give it a go. Now, like you, I hope that vendor has more blossoms. Is it too late to plant zucchini? 🙂

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    • Thanks, Greg, though I’m sure if you’d better luck growing zucchini, you’d have stuffed the blossoms long ago. I’m looking forward to the day you get some blossoms. That’ll be another recipe to bookmark.

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  36. I didn’t eat zucchini flowers in my childhood either. We had nothing so exotic at our greengrocers. I was introduced to zucchini flowers at a wonderful Italian restaurant and I’ve never looked back. I used to order them every time we went there (when in season). Then I started seeing them at the shops so like you, I bought them. I was told the best way to store them is to wrap them tightly in cling film and store in the fridge or better still, just fry them the day you buy them. It looks like you achieved a great result and I love the sound of a batter made from soda water. Have a lovely holiday with Max xx

    Like

    • Thanks, Charlie, I had a very nice visit back home and a great escape from the heatwave. Thanks for the tip on storing the blossoms. Someone else mentioned that they can be “revived” if soaked in a warm water bath for a short while. I see more experimentation in my future. 🙂

      Like

  37. I have yet to cook or eat a zucchini blossom so I will be no help at all on how to store them John. I LOVE the idea of mozzarella and anchovies – oh with a crisp light outer layer – how can you go wrong!
    Have a wonderful time relaxing with Max. We will miss you but know you will come back with wonderful tales of your vacation.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    Like

    • Thanks, Mandy. These blossoms make the perfect delivery system for fried cheese — like we needed another! Do give them a try but look out for stow-aways. Thanks for the vacation well-wishes. It was a very nice visit. 🙂

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  38. These are such a beautiful treat and you’ve really done them proud! On the few occasions we’ve grown zucchini (and yes, they take up a HUGE amount of space) I’ve been banned from picking the flowers 😦 I think you can buy bunches of them though in the markets, will have to look out for them.

    Have a wonderful, wonderufl holiday – “see” you when you get back 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Tanya. Zia says, “Hi!”
      I’ve learned of so many new way to prepare blossoms that I think I’m going to google a few more versions and give them a try. I’d no idea they were so popular.
      I hope that neither your family nor friends were involved in that horrific train accident. Such a shame.

      Like

    • I’m glad this brought back some nice memories. I’d be interested in learning how your Mom prepared hers. Judging from the other comments, there are a number of ways to stuff them. Who knew? 🙂

      Like

  39. An interesting post, John! I’ve never made stuffed blossoms, indeed I don’t think I’ve ever eaten them. You’ve demystified them for me! Have to say, I got quite the chuckle of the image of you huddling over the garbage disposal inspecting those blossoms for critters. Glad you didn’t find any, they surely would be doomed!

    Like

    • Thanks, Mar. I have to admit that if I’d “found” a stow-away in my first few blossoms, my stuffed blossom cooking would have ended right then and there. Instead, I’ve been lucky not to have found anything, so, now I can view it as the rarity it must surely be. (He typed with fingers crossed.) 🙂

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  40. I just love fiori di zucchine fritti. My dad used to make these all the time in the summer as he did grow his own zucchini. My aunt in Milano also made them and stuffed them with a bechamel. Your flowers are truly beautiful John! Hope you have a great time in Michigan!

    Like

    • Thanks, Lidia, it was a very nice visit and break from the heatwave.
      A bechamel? I’ve learned so much from these comments about stuffing recipes. Yours with gorgonzola sounds terrific, too! I can see I’ll be experimenting with more blossoms in the weeks ahead.

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  41. They are a creepily beautiful vegetable John – your second photo is almost triffid-like. Lurching from that to reading about your garbage disposal unit waiting for its prey had me petrified! I’ve only eaten zucchini blossoms at restaurants, but have been tempted to make them for a long time. Your fluffy filling and crisp coating sound magnificent (the anchovies in particular are calling my name). Hope you and Max enjoy your holiday.

    Like

    • Thanks, Saskia, for the laugh. “Triffid-like!” I hadn’t noticed that until you mentioned it. Too funny! That batch with the anchovies was the best! I stopped testing after that one and am looking forward to making some more this weekend.

      Like

  42. Stuffed Squash Blossoms is something that has always fascinated me. I’ve never eaten one much less made them, but I’m greatly impressed with those that do. You look delicious and I love all of the cheeses that you used. I probably would not add anchovies since I’m not a fan, but I trust you. Great post John! Enjoy your vacation Darlin!

    Like

    • Thanks, MJ. The all cheese blossoms were good, too. If you do try them, I found it easier to use a cheese mixture that was soft enough for a pastry bag. That make filling them so much easier — unless you happen to have a 3rd hand.
      My visit home was wonderful, MJ. 🙂

      Like

  43. I’ve never been able to find zucchini blossoms. I see so many tasty recipes (like this one) but can’t find them! I’ll keep searching. Have a great vacation!

    Like

    • Thanks, Tanya, my trip was great! Your best bet for finding them is at a farmers market. You’ll probably have to get there early and ask around. I get mine from one of the larger vendors. The smaller stalls never have them. Good luck. I hope you find them because I’d love to see how you’d prepare them.

      Like

  44. Never in my life would I have imagined that you could stuff a flower with cheese and fry it. It almost sounds too good to be true.

    I have to solicit gardening friends & relatives next summer to see if I can raid their zucchini blossoms. This recipe is something I absolutely must try.

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    • Give ’em a try, They’re a real tasty treat. If your friends have zucchini plants, chances are they’ll soon be up to their ears with zucchini and will be giving them away. That’s the time to ask them for blossoms. They’ll be happy to give them to your. Anything to put a halt to the flood of zucchini. 🙂

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  45. Who would say ‘NO’ to those cheesy, pretty, va-va-voom, fried flowers? If I ever come across zucchini blossoms in my town, I’d stuff ’em and fry ’em right away !

    Lovely, cute, sunshin-y photos 🙂
    Love.

    Like

  46. These look absolutely incredible. I love to eat courgette flowers when I’m in Italy and have tried to make them myself a couple of times, but I haven’t come close to doing a good job! But perhaps this will inspire me to have another go….

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  47. Ah trust the Italians to save on the washing up – the affogato sounds like my idea of heaven.
    But back to the main subject, the squash blossoms look stunning, and I’ve seen and heard all about them, like you, but unlike you I’ve yet to be brave enough ….. I think you mastered the stuffing and bettering brilliantly, and next time I’m in Chicago (i.e. the first time) I’ll make sure I’m there at this time so I can enjoy these…. And yes I know I grow them but like your granddad I want the squash..
    Hope you have a super break John!

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    • Thanks, Claire, it was a wonderful break! I haven’t the space to grow squash of any kind but now that I’ve tried these, I don’t think I’d have many vegetables. These little treats are addictive. You’ll see, once you get here, of course. 🙂

      Like

  48. Excellent post, John! I’ve never prepared zucchini blossoms yet (they are not easily available around here), but when I do I’ll make sure to use your post as an outstanding starting point. I hope you’ll have a great time in Michigan — please pass on my regards to Zia 🙂 PS I know the experience of having cooked something I’d love to blog about without having a good picture…

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    • Thanks,Stefan. Until last year, I never saw them around here either. I think more people are aware of them because of all of the cooking shows. Whatever the reason, I’m glad to be able to take advantage of the trend.
      I had a wonderful visit and Zia said to say “Hi!”. She was touched that you mentioned her, Stefan. Thank you for that. 🙂

      Like

  49. Is it just the male blossoms that you stuff? I have always wondered about this. When the zuchinni first starts it has piles of male flowers and there is always a hiatus before the female ones appear. Three cheeses sounds like a wonderful stuffing.. though like your Dad i honestly cannot see myself ripping the flowers off these hard won (the bad bug loves them) plants.. however i love anything deep fried as you know! Hope you all are having a lovely time at Zia’s… c

    Like

    • I guess it all depends upon how many plants one has, Celi. If you’ve plenty of plants, than I doubt it would make much difference which blossoms were picked. If you’ve only 1 or 2 plants, I think it probably best to just pick the make blossoms or you’ll really impact the harvest. We’re both fried food lovers and these, stuffed with cheese, are the best! 🙂

      Like

  50. Mike and I just ordered blossoms in Michigan. They were so good, but I dare say yours would be better. And I’m still cracking up with the “just sayin'” scenario! I’d just keep Mr. N on hand. He’s good for taking care of 8 legged creatures for me. 🙂

    Like

    • I’ve not seen blossoms on a menu but sure would like to. I know Mr N is planning on being an actor/restauranteur but it never hurts to have a Plan B. “Spider killer” is a good one. I’d hire him. 🙂

      Like

    • Thanks, Minnie. These are a tasty treat. If you do get some, I found it easier to stuff them if the cheese mixture was soft enough to use a pasty bag. It really does make the stuffing process easier. Good luck and please let me know how you like them. 🙂

      Like

  51. I love fried zucchini blossoms, John, and your stuffed version looks amazing!
    Good advice to look inside them before stuffing them, too! 😉
    Enjoy your vacation and well deserved rest!
    Stefano

    Like

  52. I just love how much thought and experimentation you put into your recipes John!
    I saw these blossoms on the market a couple of times but I was never brave enough to buy them and try them.
    Having read your wonderfully detailed post, I will be braver next time

    Like

    • Thank you, Sawsan, but you not brave enough? You’re fearless in the kitchen and I marvel at the recipes you not only attempt but conquer. Stuffing a few blossoms would be a snap for you and I’d love to see the stuffings you’d develop. 🙂

      Like

  53. Interesting! I loved that batter: I am sure, it would result in a crispy awesomeness. Zucchini blossoms taste great, whichever way you make them.I loved the cheese stuffing. I am going to try this your way someday, John. In India, we do a spice stuffing instead. True that these wilt easily, so we have to deal with them as soon as we pluck them.

    Like

    • Thank you so much. Have you posted a recipe with the spiced filling you described? I’d be very interested to see it. I bet the blossoms are delicious and would be a welcome change from these that are cheese filled. And you’re right about using them right away. Even a few hour wait is too long, unfortunately.

      Like

  54. You have no idea how happy I was when I saw your post. I thought fiori di zucca were not sold in the United States. I have never seen them in any market I have been to so far. I have like 30 recipes which provides for fiori di zucca but I end up making them only when I’m in Italy. You gave me hope and I’ll keep looking for them! 😉 Hope you are having a wonderful vacation!

    Like

    • I’m glad this post helped you but I’m amazed that you have some 30 recipes for stuffing blossoms. Oh, how I hope you find some blossoms. I’d love to see what you would do with them. I cannot speak for all markets but, at mine, it’s best to go early if you want to buy blossoms. They either sell or wilt very quickly. Thank you for leaving such a great comment and yes, I had a wonderful time in Michigan. 🙂

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  55. I always wait to harvest eversince my mothers zucchini plant got blossom…
    instead cheese, i love to stuffed it with chinese style filling with pork and shrimp..
    batterred with beer and deep fried until golden brown,
    lovely!

    Like

  56. I heard about eating zucchini blossoms the first time not too long ago from one of my best friends who lives in Italy. First I was skeptic and then she showed me the results, and now I see yours, look at those beautiful blossom how could they taste bad : ) I LOVE the anchovy version!!

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  57. Oh, bother.. by now you’re long gone on vacation! That’ll teach me for taking too long to come over here! I have been intrigued by these little flower buds for some time now and it’s great that you’ve got lots of detail and have photographed what it looks like to stuff a blossom. I can’t imagine the taste.. all flowery yet savory at once. I don’t think I’ve seen these at the market, but you never know.. maybe at the lake later in August? I hope you’re have a perfectly splendid vacation!! Arrivederci! xx

    Like

    • Not to worry, Barb. I’m baaaack! I had a wonderful visit and look forward to returning.
      I hope you do find some blossoms, Barb. They are a great treat — not necessarily the healthiest but tasty, nonetheless. Judging by the comments here, there are far many more ways to stuff a blossom than with cheese. What fun! 🙂

      Like

  58. I’ve only eaten zuchinni blossoms once and they certainly didn’t look as tasty as yours. Wow! I think the anchovy and mozzarella would be my favorite as well.

    Another fantastic recipe and photos that make my mouth water! 🙂 Hope you’re relaxing and enjoying your vacation! ~ April

    Like

    • Thanks you, April. Yes, that anchovy version was the best and I hoe that there’ll be more blossoms at the market this Saturday.
      I had a great get-away and perfect break from the heat wave. Best of all, I have one very tired dog. Perfect!

      Like

  59. Have a fantastic vacation!

    Until today, I had never heard of eating zucchini flowers. There are so many wonderful things to do with zucchini I had never even thought of something like this being possible! That said, I love the cheese filling that you’ve created for this very appetizing looking recipe! I will keep an eye out for zucchini flowers at the farmer’s market!

    Like

    • Thanks, Amber. I hope you do find some blossoms. I’m sure you’ll have fun coming up with your own stuffing recipes and I cannot wait to see them. I’ve found that if the stuffing is soft enough to use a pastry bag, the process is so much easier. Good luck!

      Like

  60. John, looks wonderful. My other half is always talking about zucchini flowers, something he had often in Egypt. Never tried them. Something new and different is always fun. Have a great vacation. cya when you get back. Susie

    Like

    • Egypt? I’ve learned so much with this post, Susie. People have commented about Filipino, Indian, Greek, and, of course, Italian ways of preparing blossoms. I really had no idea. I need to google a few of these recipes. You’re right. It is fun. Thanks, I had a nice visit and it was great to be off grid for a bit. 🙂

      Like

  61. They do look really yummy indeed! I have seen them being made on some of my favo TV shows (like Masterchef Australia, for example) and always thought that they must be tasting as good as they look. And though a touch fiddly to make, still worth the effort. 🙂

    Like

    • Like you, I saw many of the TV chefs preparing them. I found it easiest when the filling was soft enough to use a pastry bag. Stuffing them with a wedge of cheese was much more difficult. If you find blossoms, do give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.
      Thanks for the visit and for taking the time to comment. 🙂

      Like

  62. Bonjourno John! I have had zucchini blossoms in many dishes while I was in Italy, as it was in season, but I never had one stuffed and then fried. You have take zucchini blossoms to a whole new level. Have a super weekend. Take care, BAM

    Like

    • Buona notte, BAM! I’ve learned a lot through this post’s comments. i’d no idea that there were so many ways to stuff and/or prepare the blossoms. I need to do some googling. I’d love to try out a few more recipes. Have a great week, BAM!

      Like

  63. John, I’m behind in my blog reading, but hope you’ve had or are having a great holiday! I’m not sure your grandpa would have minded all that much if he HAD grown the squash, as you always end up with far more male flowers than needed – it’s only the female ones that produce fruit. But I digress – this dish looks wonderful, and I find myself wondering if they will work with tromboncino flowers.. 😉

    Like

    • I had a wonderful visit, Celia, and am just now getting caught up. Grandpa was particular when it came to his garden’s harvest. He planted things for a specific purpose and it was pretty difficult to get him to see otherwise. That was OK, though. We all ate very well because of efforts. I don’t see why they wouldn’t work with tromboncino flowers. It’s a squash, after all, and you do have a couple extra, as I recall. 🙂

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  64. Just like the nursery rhyme, when they are good, they and very, very good and when they are bad they are horrid. Knowing the work you put into yours, I’m sure they were wonderful. 🙂

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  65. First of all, let me start by congratulating you for taking so much time and effort to share this recipe with us. Your experimental phase was both hilarious and informative. I enjoyed reading your narration and that first photo confirms the experiment was a huge success. I wish I could nip off the blossoms and eat them. I think they tasted very nice.
    The tweezers and stamens reminds me of the many botany classes I attended in college and how I used to have a love-hate relationship with the experiments depending on what plants we were studying. The zucchini blossoms were amongst my favourites because they are so large and easy to work with.
    I love this recipe because you give me the latitude to add whatever I want, but the three cheeses sound just good enough. If I find the blossoms I would really love to try the club soda batter but I guess that batter can be used for other things, like onion rings and deep fried scalloped potatoes? Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week. I hope you enjoyed Michigan?

    Like

    • Thanks, Liz, for visiting and taking the time to comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and how fantastic that it reminded of your college days. Did anyone find any “stow-aways” in class? They would have had to cancel the class if I’d found one, especially if it was of the eight-legged variety. I bet this batter would work well with something like onion rings. It’s not too thick, just the way I like it. I had a very nice visit. It just didn’t last long enough. 🙂

      Like

  66. I adore stuffed zucchini blossoms, I order them any time I see them in Italy. Unfortunately, I’ve never actually seen them for sale so have never been able to cook them myself. These look lovely though.

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    • Thank you. I can only find them at one vendor at one farmers market. I’ve bought them most every week for I’m afraid each time will be the last. I hope you do find some. I’d love to see how you’d stuff them. 🙂

      Like

  67. Liz and I are huge, huge zucchini blossom fans John and I’m all too certain that this recipe is delicious. However, we had multiple experiences with the blossoms resulted in us having exhausting traumatic dreams. So unfortunately they’re on our no go list. 😦

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  68. I too have seen a lot of Chefs on TV using the blossoms but have been intimated by them, for fear of poisoning my guests. But your post makes it seem doable – thanks for the recipe and also advice on how to store them. Adding this to my ‘upcoming recipe’ file.

    Like

    • I would have been surprised to learn these recipes were authentically Italian, Sylva, since I created them. My family never prepared stuffed blossoms and I decided to use a filling of ingredients that I enjoy without being overly complicated. I did take a look at both of your recipes and found them to be very good. I bet each is delicious. Thank you for pointing them out to me.

      Like

  69. Pingback: Soft Shell Crab Po’ Boys with Sriracha Aioli | from the Bartolini kitchens

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