In Texas, where the growing season is very long — provided one waters religiously — I learned to sacrifice the first zucchini blossoms to my frying pan. Lightly fried, they are peppery and vegetal, the very essence of the zucchini they would have become had you not nipped them in the bud, so to speak.
Their ruffled, yellow petals are just lovely in a panko batter, making a very pretty summer presentation alongside your main dish.
Panko fried zucchini blossoms
Egg yolks (one for each 1/2 dozen or less flowers]
1 cup sparkling water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable or a light olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Gently rinse the flowers inside and out and trim the stems. Set aside to drain.
2. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and add water, whisking until completely mixed. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper and then add just enough panko to create a creamy batter that will stick to blossoms.
3. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high. Coat flowers in batter one at a time and add to the pan, frying them until golden brown on both sides — about two minutes total. Drain on a paper towel or bag. Sprinkle with salt and fresh pepper and serve warm.