Saturday, 5 July 2014

Say it with Flowers

Grande Frittella di Fiore di Zucca, Acchiuge & Mozzarella
Zucchini Blossom, Anchovy & Mozzarella Savory Pancake 

It's strange but it's true... Though I am neither a great lover of either fish or fried foods, the zucchini blossoms, stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies, deep fried in batter, that I had on my vacation in Rome last year were SO delicious to me! It was a combination of flavor sand ingredients that I immediately loved the minute I tasted it for the first time.

And so this evening, armed with a nice little basket of fresh zucchini flowers from the market hall, I set out to try to make something with that same great flavor... But something that was a lot more healthy too!

I basically used the same ingredients... 3 eggs, flour and a little milk for the batter, a half-ball of mozzarella, about a tablespoon of anchovy paste and a little parsley.... So much taste from so few ingredients!

With these ingredients, you can either make one generous and yummy dinner-sized serving, or 4-6 starter sized servings, were you to serve it with a little green salad and a couple of cherry tomatoes for example...

So, before we begin, the first thing we always need to do is to remove the stamen from the blossoms. In this case it is very easy to do as we need to slice the blossoms and the attached, little zucchinis in half.

Give the blossoms a rinse by all means, don't be afraid that they will become waterlogged.... They won't! Simply shake them off and let them dry for a minute or so and you will be fine 

For the batter, add 1 tablespoon of flor for each egg that you use and for 3 eggs, I would say that you need 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste. Whisk these ingredients together and then add just a little milk to get the consistency a little smoother... Basically it is just pancake batter without rising agents. Add a nice amount of coarsely ground pepper and a little finely chopped parsley and you are good to go!

Turn on you oven and pre-heat it so that you are ready for finishing this baby off in a couple of minutes and in the meantime, fry the zucchinis and blossoms in just a little olive oil for 4-5 minutes until the zucchini begin to brown and the blossoms to wilt... Just a little!

Set the zucchini to one side to cool for 3-4 minutes and then return your frying pan to the stove top and pour in the batter. Let it sit for a minute or two, until it begins to set and then arrange the zucchinis and blossoms "decoratively" on top.

Tear the mozzarella apart and spread it out evenly on top, then grated generously with fresh nutmeg and sprinkle again with lovely, coarsely ground pepper.

Allow the base to bake on the stove top for the initial 2-3 minutes and then pop the frying pan into the oven at around 180C for 10-15 minutes to finish.

Once the top is lovely and brown like this and aroma is irresistible... Grab yourselves your knives and forks and enjoy!

Isn't that just pretty as a picture?

All of the same great favors with hardly any of the fat! This is one that I will make again!!


  1. I love your healthy variation on the fried version (which I love). Sad to say, zucchini blossoms are very hard to find around here, and I don't have enough sun in the yard to grow my own, so they're a rare treat for me these days... :=(

  2. Ah, Frank, I am always so happy and honored when you post a comment and I am glad you approve! Zucchini blossom are pretty rare in our stores or at our markets too... Which seems weird to me as we have them year-round at our supermarkets and the plants produce the blossoms whether we use them or not... No? In any case... The flavor is fantastic... And as I am not in Rome, I chose not to do as the Romans... And got away with it! Buon appetito my friend! Francesco