Deep-Fried Zucchini Flowers

Adapted from multiple sources
Makes 1 to 3 dozen flowers1


Tempura Batter

In a deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until shimmering, then add diced zucchini and onion. Saute until nicely browned. Remove to a medium bowl.

Combine cheeses, smoked paprika, lime zest and juice along with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper with the zucchini mixture. It will be quite thick. Add half-n-half or milk to thin it slightly to a workable consistency, like cake frosting.

Prepare your preferred deep-fry method. If you have a fryer, fill it with the appropriate amount of oil as required for operation and begin heating it to 350F. (If you are using a Dutch oven, you already know more than I do. I think it'd be a couple of inches of oil.)

Rinse the flowers well and pat dry. Remove the little pistil thingie inside each flower along with any sharp leaves and discard. Carefully stuff each flower about half-full and twist the petals carefully to keep them shut. Arrange on a board. My small blossoms took about 1/2 tsp of mixture to come up half-way and large blossoms took between 1 tsp and 2 tsp to fill.

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the tempura batter.

Dip each filled flower in the batter and swirl to coat. Drop carefully into the hot oil - you don't want to splash. Don't overcrowd the fryer either - you don't want the oil temperature to drop very far.

Fry for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly golden brown. They will get a shade or two darker while they cool. Remove to a rack set over paper towels or newsprint to drain off excess oil and sprinkle over with salt.


  1. I only filled my flowers half-full and many of my flowers were very small. Some were huge, so if you have the big ones, the filling will only make about a dozen. For this reason, I'm not putting a quantity for the flowers - there is way too much variation.
  2. A mandoline is a godsend here.
  3. I used what I had - look in your fridge and use any combination of melting cheeses for approximately 6 ounces total weight. Ricotta would be good, as would Monterey jack. Really, anything that melts will work.

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Posted by Cori Rozentāle on .