The Best Weeknight Zucchini Recipe

An instant escape to Italy. Try these herb and ricotta stuffed zucchini blossoms (plus, they’re cheaper than airfare)! We love filling them with luscious, creamy ricotta, dipping them in a light batter and frying. They actually have no real ‘floral’ flavour, but the crisp exterior and soft interior is addictive.

City Style and Living The Best Weeknight Zucchini Recipes beautiful harvest presented in wooden box
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City Style and Living The Best Weeknight Zucchini Recipes fried in bowl
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They’re not burnt. 
Although some prefer a light, tempura-style, we fry our zucchini blossoms to a golden crisp by using a touch of sweet paprika in the batter. This will give it a darker colour, and also adds a faint smoky flavour.

For one dozen flowers, combine ¾ cup flour to 1 cup sparkling water until some lumps remain. Add ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.

City Style and Living The Best Weeknight Zucchini Recipes blossoms in bowl
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How to Make the filling for stuffed zucchini flowers

Combine ½ cup ricotta, 1 tablespoon cream cheese (or fresh farmer’s cheese), ¼ cup Asiago cheese, grated, 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley and basil (or mint), 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste. Stuff inside flowers.

Meanwhile, heat 2 cups vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat until a small spoonful of batter sizzles in oil (about 350°F). Coat flowers in batter and gently place in oil. Fry until golden brown, turning to ensure all sides are evenly brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve.

City Style and Living The Best Weeknight Zucchini Recipes zucchini plants
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What if you don’t have zucchini flowers?

No flowers, no problem.
It can be tricky to buy zucchini flowers no matter the time of year. In winter, with the growing season over, adapt the recipe by selecting small zucchini. Slice in half lengthwise, scoop out most of the flesh on either side using a melon baller or spoon. Fill one side with ricotta mix (above), and place remaining half on top. Dip in batter and fry.

What’s the best way to handle zucchini flowers?

Flower Tips
In summer, we normally harvest only the male flowers, which don’t have ‘fruit’ attached. Harvesting the flowers will not impede your plant’s growth, in fact, it can help the plant put its energy into making bigger fruit.

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This original article first appeared in the Winter 2023/24 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.

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