Fried zucchini blossoms just sound awesome, and they’re always something I’ve wanted to make. Unfortunately, not having sufficient real estate to grow my own zucchini if only to harvest the flowers, I was pretty much relegated to what was available at the farmers’ markets or grocery stores, and never once had I seen zucchini blossoms there.
I could have jumped for joy when I saw them. Any existing menu plans went out the window the second I picked up the plastic box filled with the gorgeous orange blooms. I knew they wouldn’t last long, so set about figuring how to cook them for dinner that very night.
It seems that zucchini blossoms are usually prepared in one of two ways: battered and fried or stuffed, battered and fried.
I went with the later, stuffing the blossoms with a savory sweet mixture of goat cheese, black pepper, and honey while Taylor whisked up a lightly carbonated batter using a partial bottle of one of his precious beers (in reality I think it was just an excuse to drink the rest of the bottle before dinner).
Turns out, stuffing zucchini blossoms is not as easy as it might seem. They are much less forgiving than, say, peppadews. First, you have to reach in with your fingers and remove the stamens of the male flowers. Doing that without tearing the fragile petals is tricky indeed. Then you’ve got to stuff them (I found a piping bag and 1/2″ piping tip worked the best for this) with the cheese mixture. The actual stuffing isn’t so hard with the help of the piping bag, but then you have to figure out how to keep that stuffing in. It’s not like a wonton where the filling is sealed inside. I gently twisted the tops of the flowers ever so slightly in a feeble attempt to keep the stuffing from oozing out.
But sure enough, once the flowers had been beer-battered and gently dropped into the hot oil, the melting cheese came flowing out, either through tears in the petals or out the twisted top, blackening into charcoal specs that floated on the surface of the oil.
The flowers fry up quite quickly, so all the goat cheese didn’t leak out, and you could still taste it inside the delicately fried flowers even though they looked mostly hollow inside. I’ll admit, these were pretty awesome, even without the full quantity of goat cheese. The beer batter was light and crispy, and the flowers had a delicate nutty flavor that I couldn’t quite place (it tasted like something, but also unlike anything I’d ever had before)
Despite the fact that these were only moderately successful, I’ll still share the recipe here should you be so lucky to find some zucchini blossoms of your own. And if you manage to uncover the secret to frying these without losing half your cheese, I do hope you’ll impart your wisdom on us all!
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Fried Zucchini Blossoms
- 12 male zucchini blossoms, stamens removed*
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 5 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup beer (a lighter ale works well here, nothing too dark or hoppy)
- Remove stamens from flowers, trying not to tear the delicate petals.
- Fill a large, heavy saucepan with about 1-inch of vegetable oil. Set over medium heat and let it come up to desired temperature of 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, combine goat cheese, cream, honey, and salt and pepper until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag or a zip-top bag with 1/2″ of the end cut off. Carefully insert tip of bag into a flower and fill with cheese mixture. Gently twist tops of petals to seal.
- In a bowl, combine flour and beer and whisk until smooth. Using the stem as a handle, dip flowers into batter and flip to coat. Gently lay battered flowers into hot oil. Repeat with another flower, battering and frying about 4 flowers at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan. Fry flowers for 30 to 45 seconds, then flip and fry for another 30 to 45 seconds until light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack or paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining flowers (skim off any burnt bits and let oil come back up to temperature as needed between batches). Serve warm.
*male blossoms will have a pollen-covered stamen inside which you want to gently remove before stuffing. Female blossoms will usually have the beginnings of a baby zucchini growing in place of a stem (leave those on the plant as they’ll turn into full zucchinis whereas the male flowers will not).
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The tying off the ends of the blossoms can be done easily by pulling off a thread of celery and tying it just once. None of my blossoms leaked cheese. I substituted sour cream for cream cheese and cream.
Loved this recipe! And I was able to keep the goat cheese from leaking out during frying by putting the stuffed blossoms in the fridge for an hour or so before cooking
FWIW, trying to remove the stamen might be not worth the effort. A fragile as these blossoms are, I was better off just sticking the pipping tip over it and filling around it. Still fantastic to eat!
Thanks for the recipe – it inspired me to use a beer batter for my blossoms. Another recipe called for chilling the blossom after filling it (at least 30 minutes). Worked like a charm. Another trick might be adding an egg yolk to the filling so it is more cooperative in piping and kind of bakes in the frying stage?
Hope you got to enjoy many more.
ohmanohman, those are seriously gorgeous! I have 4 squash plants that seem to have just exploded over the last couple of days and are starting to form flowers. I can’t wait to make this!
They look amazing!! I never thought to fry them. We stuff them with a mixture of mincemeat and rice and cook them with a tomato sauce. Will definitely try your recipe!
OMG! I have some gorgeous looking flowers on my zucchini plants in my garden RIGHT! NOW! Question for you though .. if I pluck the flowers, will I lose my potential for actual zucchinis growing?
Nope, as you only want to use the male flowers for this recipe. The female flowers are what turn into zucchinis (and you may even see some tiny zucchini starting to grow off the back end of them, which is one way to tell the difference). The male ones are the ones with the stamen on the inside. Google it and you should be able to find more photos to help you determine which ones are which. :)
Ah I really want to try this recipe for so long now, and I can buy zucchini blossoms quite easily around here, but I am just too afraid of a big pan full of bubbling oil :o I am afraid I will have to look at the pictures instead… ;)
Lindsay, I love so much these zucchini blossoms… i can hardly wait for them to arrive at my geographic zone… I’m living in Holland and right now we are celebrating the white asparagus season. I cook every day fresh white asparagus, but weather is still cold and we are looking forward to the summer… and the zucchini blossoms: -)
Thank you so much!! Goat cheese, and zucchini… so delicious!!
Have a great weekend!
Wow, I have never seen a recipe for zucchini blossoms before! I love this!
I’m desperarate to find some courgette blossoms this summer. Really hope I can pick some up, the are just so beautiful! And tasty of courseM
I start to salivate whenever I see zucchini blossoms appear at the farmers market! They are a “must” in our home every summer without fail. I think that perhaps the cheese should be very stiff, perhaps no cream…and wonder if the lumps of cheese could be frozen first then placed inside the blossom then dipped and fried? It’s very hard to remove the stamens without damaging the blossoms. I try to do it as soon as possible…because once the blossom collapses on itself, it becomes tricky! I’m thinking of getting those long chef’s tweezers this year!
Beautiful. I’m like you in that I do not grow them. But a few years ago I went to my farmer’s market and the blooms were growing around the market. They didn’t even know you could use them for eating! The owner let me have all the blossoms they had. :-)
Oh, I love fried squash blossoms! One of my favorite things! I have found that keeping the goat cheese at least chilled (or frozen!) helps keep it from oozing, as does keeping the batter on the thicker side, so it’s sealed inside a bit better . These look lovely!
I LOVE stuffed squash blossoms! Yours look amazing. Can’t wait to try!
These look delicious, Lindsay! (though I’m still a bit wary when it comes to eating flowers….) :)
This looks amazing! Zucchini blossoms are used a lot in Mexican cuisine, but I never have had them fried. Love the combination with the goat cheese and beer. Have to try them!
How about wrapping a teardrop of goat cheese in the thinnest slice of good prosciutto?
Oooh ohhh, I’m going to try that!!
The first thing I thought when I read this post was “OMG- frying in the condo!”. Beautiful pics. Wish I was still down the hall to be your taste tester. :-) -m
I love love love this! I recently ordered the stuffed/fried blossoms at The Standard Hotel in LA, and then again on pizza at a local pizzeria here in AZ. I hope they don’t go away anytime soon!
Zucchini blossoms are such a treasure and stuffing them with goat cheese makes them gold in my book!