Posted by: lisetta | July 25, 2011

Fiori di zucca

Zucchini flowers: one of the best things about having a garden! Blaine was surprised to learn that they were edible, but found a recipe and made them for me. Behold:

Blaine's stuffed zucchini flowers

He stuffed them with ricotta and herbs from the garden, dipped them in egg and gluten-free flour mixed with a bit of parmigiano, and fried them in olive oil. They were delicious, of course, albeit a little heavy. I think a tempura batter (with a bit of ice water added to the egg and flour) might have lightened them up.

I’ve typically not fried zucchini blossoms, but use them instead in risotto or a frittata. While searching around to find out how other cooks are using them, I came across an article originally written by Suzanne Martinson for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and posted to the hgtv website. It mentions D’Imperio’s restaurant out in Monroeville, which I recall my parents really enjoying long ago. (Funny how a simple web search can connect you to memories long forgotten!) Though I’ve never actually eaten there myself, it seems their Italian-American menu hasn’t changed much since the 70s. Given the plethora of plant-based options in the Italian diet, I wonder why it is that so many Italian-American restaurants offer no vegetarian entrees other than a classic spaghetti with marinara sauce or pesto, a pasta primavera and cheese ravioli?

I think the time has come for someone to open up a contemporary Italian restaurant featuring a variety of more innovative vegetarian choices … how about penne with zucchine and saffron, or a zucchini lasagna, or gnochhetti alla pastorella with asparagus or red pepper replacing the ham? Just sayin’.

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Responses

  1. Fried zucchini blossoms are a summertime favorite with me, especially filled with mozzarella and a strip of anchovy. But I’d happily bite into these too.

  2. mmmmm I remember D’Imperios! It was GREAT! Helen used to cook the zuke flowers. She liked them breaded, but Joe liked them sauteed in evoo and garlic. I tried both, but didn’t really care for them. maybe the ONLY thing she cooked that I didn’t like!


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