fried zucchini blossoms

zucchini flowers

As a child, I once attempted to eat a daisy. My younger cousin, who was my opposite in each and every way (I liked to cook, she didn’t; I liked sitting quietly and reading, she liked to run around and climb tress) wryly noted that only cows ate daisies. People don’t eat flowers, she said. She had a point.

zucchini flowers

It wasn’t until Martha Stewart’s beautiful how-to on making candied flowers to decorate cupcakes that I actually entertained thoughts of once again putting a flower in my mouth. They were pretty and sparkly, almost jewel-like in their crystallized splendor. And while I stayed indifferent to cupcakes for many years thereafter, candied flowers were always a weak spot. Was it the aesthetic? Having tried my hand at these candied flowers awhile back, I have to say to you this – Martha, good things or otherwise, has too much time on her hands. On second thought, this is her empire, what she makes her living on. Me? I just try to make dinner a few nights a week when I get home from work/gym/fill-in-the-blank-errand-of-your-choice so that I could photograph and write about it as some not terribly distant future. Oh yeah, and I use flash. Like, a lot. Because poor souls like me actually have office jobs, and not trying to discover the next “good thing” (Radish Mice? Is this idea cool or what? And why didn’t I think of it?). But I digress. Back to the story now.

to crisp perfection

A few years ago, I saw fried zucchini flowers on a restaurant menu, and had to try them – they were delicious. A love at first bite, I wanted to make them at home the next day! The only problem was that I couldn’t find them in the store, or at the farmers market – apparently the chef got them from a farmer friend of his as a favor. The zucchini flowers are very seasonal and up until now, haven’t crossed my path. That is until my last grocery order – when I saw them and pretty much assembled a basked of highly perishable produce (more on that later!) just so I could get my hands on these beautiful, delicate golden-yellow blossoms

happiness is...

KS seemed somewhat excited about these when I told him I was going to make him fried zucchini blossoms, but understandably he wasn’t jumping out of his seat until he tried them and found them as tasty as I do! These are so easy to make, I feel almost ashamed writing about it, but perhaps that’s sort of the point – good food can and should be simple. And that’s a good thing.

Vegetable oil, for frying
2 large egg yolks
1 cup ice water
1 cup all-purpose flour
12 zucchini flowers with stems
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer or large, heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F.

In a deep mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks and pour in the ice water; mix to combine. Add the flour and continue to mix until the batter is the consistency of heavy cream. Dip 2 zucchini flowers at a time in the batter to coat completely, letting the excess drip off. Fry the flowers in the hot oil for 2 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Drain the fried flowers on a platter lined with paper towels, season with salt and pepper while they are still hot. Repeat with the remaining zucchini flowers.

Adapted from Tyler Florence on
4-6 servings


  • Lydia

    Ooooh, I just found squash blossoms at my farmers’ market this week! The traditional thing here is to stuff them with ricotta and bread crumbs, and then fry them. Your recipe is almost like a tempura — what fun!

  • radish

    Erika, thank you – I had fun snapping these!
    Lydia – I contemplated the ricotta stuffed ones, but in the end wanted the simplicity of these – and the sweetness of the flower REALLY stands out – try it. Next time, KS suggested, I will try it with rice flour and then it will be even more like tempura!

  • Jim

    Whoa. Never would have thought of eating something like this, but now I’m tempted to suggest it for our next big party. Do you mind if I add it to Recipe4Living?

  • Lisa (Homesick Texan)

    Ha! That was my thought exactly when I attempted Martha’s candied flower recipe! Aren’t squash blossoms delicious? I’m hitting the market super early tomorrow morning so I can grab some before the heat makes them wilted and sad.

  • radish

    Jim – not at all, as long as you credit me and link back! :)
    Lisa – hysterical right? Who makes candied flowers?? I mean really?

  • nkv

    i’ve long hated martha, but the other day i saw her make a wreath of golden balls out of a brown paper bag and I couldn’t help but be slightly dazzled.

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