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Fried Zucchini Flowers

Fiori di Zucchini Fritti

SERVES 8 TO 10

It is common in outdoor markets in Italy to see carts of bright yellow-orange zucchini blossoms. They bring a tinge of nostalgia for me, because the blossoms were a familiar sight in our kitchen. I usually run to my garden when zucchini are plentiful and gather an apron full of blossoms. I don't know anyone with zucchini plants who, by mid-summer, would not love to give some away.

Ingredients

1 pound zucchini blossoms

6 to 7 cups peanut oil

Flour, for dredging

4 large eggs, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Open the centers of the flowers gently, remove the pistils and stigmas, and discard. Put the flowers in a bowl of ice water for 1 hour.

Heat the oil to 375 F in a deep-fryer or heavy pot.

Dry the blossoms on paper towels; roll each in the flour and then the eggs. Fry the blossoms in oil until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on brown paper, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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