fried zucchini flowers

For the past few weeks all my interesting and adventurous cooking projects have fallen by the wayside as I've been completely focused on the garden. But yesterday the balance shifted back to where the garden starts to return the time by making cooking easier and more inspired.

When I got home I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner until I noticed that there were about five zucchinis ready to harvest. Even better, there were also plenty of male blossoms–one of my favorite treats of summer!

When I was a child my mother used to fry up the blossoms straight from the garden which instilled a lifelong craving. I know it's downright cliche to talk about how much better tasting home grown food is than the usual market fare, but in the case of of zucchini blossoms it's really the only option. The flowers are so delicate that the time off the plant and transport really damages them. When I've ordered them in restaurants I've always found them over-handled and overworked, often stuffed (with ricotta or another cheese) or in a heavy batter. I just don't think there's any version that's as fresh and delicious as when they are picked and fried, as is, within minutes.

So yesterday the boys and I harvested our first zucchini of the year and (of course) the coveted blossoms and headed straight for the kitchen. I made a quick flour and water pastella (very light batter) and fried everything right up. The boys sat at the kitchen counter and gobbled the flowers and zucchini slices as fast as I could make them. Perhaps the beginning of a new generation with a lifelong zucchini blossom craving?

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