These were one of my favourite things growing up. My nana would make them daily when the zucchini flowers were blooming. Now that she doesn’t cook as much it is up to me to figure out how to make them! I knew the basics, I had seen her do it a thousand times, sans any measuring. So I had a faint idea the consistency the dough should be. Being from Calabria the recipe is simple & cheap (as are most recipes from this region of Italy). If you love food you know recipes that call for fresh vegetables and simple ingredients are typically the best tasting.
SO without further ado, here is the recipe I’ve found works best:
~ 1 cup (moderately packed) zucchini flowers – 14-16
1/2 cup Flour
1 cup water
Salt & Pepper to taste
~ 1/2 cup Mozzarella cut into small cubes (optional, fresh is best!) – if you’re using buffalo mozzarella just rip it into small pieces.
Vegetable oil for frying
Step 1: Cut/rip the flowers away from the stem. We don’t need any zucchini busy parts in our fritters! You’ll want them cut coarsely and they definitely don’t have to be perfect. I usually just rip with my hands.
Step 2: Put them in a bowl along with one egg, the flour, water and some salt & pepper (mozzarella as well if you’re adding it) and mix it all together!
It was hard to capture but you basically want the mixture falling easily from your fork/spoon. You don’t want it clumpy or dense.
Step 3: Heat the oil up. You’ll want about 2 inches in a pan and you’ll want this to get HOT. I usually put my dial to just past medium heat. Different ovens vary and I suggest you have a few practice rounds before frying them all up.
Step 4: Test Fritter – take a large spoon (think ladle-ish) and just gently pour into the hot oil. You’ll fry for about 2.5 – 3 mins per side until the fritter is lightly brown. If you find it’s NOT browning and staying a sickly white colour – turn up the heat. You will also want to prepare a plate with paper towel on it for the finished product (the paper towel will absorb the extra oil).
Step 5: Eat the test fritter – Make sure there’s enough salt/pepper. If they taste “dough-y” add more water. You don’t want to feel like you’re eating a terrible piece of fried bread. They should be light and airy. If you’ve added some mozzarella you’ll get a bit more depth of flavour. This is about trial & error. Even though I have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing I still rely on my “test fritter.” Plus if it tastes delicious right off the bat then bonus points!
Step 6: Fry ’em up! & Enjoy!
These are amazing, simple & delicious. Basically what Calabrian cooking is all about. No need to get fancy here. If you decide to double the recipe – do NOT double the flour… start with maybe 3/4 of a cup and work from there. It is very easy to add too much flour to these and destroy the taste.