Zucchini blossoms (a.k.a. zucchini flowers) are things of beauty – small, fragile, and in Toronto only available for a brief window of time around July/August. While I’ve enjoyed them in many restaurants over the years, I’ve never attempted to buy and prepare them at home. But our recent trip to Italy – where the growing season is longer, the blossoms are sold in markets everywhere you turn, and they’re as prevalent on most restaurant menus as pasta – allowed us to go zucchini blossom crazy. So when we had the chance to buy a bunch last week, we didn’t hesitate to do so.
The most common preparation for zucchini blossoms is to cover in a light batter and fry them. This is also my favorite way to eat them. But for my first foray into cooking zucchini blossoms, I decided I didn’t want to get into the mess and extra calories associated with frying them. Instead, inspired by Jenny’s sister’s recent success with preparing baked kale chips, I decided a quick trip to the oven was in store for these babies.
After preheating the oven to 400 C, I tossed my cleaned zucchini blossoms in a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Then I laid them out on a non-stick baking sheet and popped them in the oven for 15 minutes or so. They came out lightly crisped and lightly salted (though I did end up adding another grind of salt to the finished product). Easy and delicious.
While I’ll probably attempt to make battered and fried zucchini blossoms before the season is over – perhaps stuffed with mozzarella and anchovy, as we had them in Rome – it’s nice to know that I can bake them in a pinch and they still taste great.