In the Kitchen With Arietza: 10 Recipes With Zucchini Blossoms

(Note from editor: Welcome to our new series! Arietza loves cooking and baking as much as she loves gardening. We are excited to share her recommendations with you. From garden to table, she's got you covered.)

Zucchini blossoms or zucchini flowers, it doesn't matter what you call them; the important thing is that you know what to do with them in the kitchen!

Zucchini blossoms are popular ingredients in Mexican and Italian cuisines, featured in numerous dishes where they take center stage. They have a delicate and slightly sweet flavor with subtle hints of squash, and the texture is smooth.

Zucchini blossoms are versatile, which means they are easy to work with and easy to pair with main dishes or make into a dish on their own. However, to preserve their flavor in a dish, zucchini blossoms are often integrated as the star of the dish, or in dishes where the main flavor profile is mild.

Before we dive into all the recipes, it's essential to address a few key things to ensure the best quality of zucchini squash blossoms.

Selecting the flowers

When selecting zucchini blossoms or zucchini flowers for cooking, it's important to choose the female flowers.

Female flowers are identifiable by the presence of a small zucchini forming at the base, while male flowers do not attach to the zucchini squash. The flower is ready for harvest early in the morning once it's fully open and a vibrant yellow.


1. Shrimp and Zucchini Flower Tacos: For this recipe, you will need zucchini blossoms, tortillas, vegetables from your garden such as bell peppers, zucchini, leeks, cabbage; anything you have at hand. For the toppings use your favorite salsa, avocado, and cheese. The zucchini flowers are sautéed along with the vegetables and shrimp, then used as a filling in warm tortillas with creamy avocado and your choice of red or green tomato salsa.

2. Zucchini Flower Stir-Fry: This stir-fry recipe is very simple and works as a great side dish to any savory main dish, served over rice. For the ingredients, you'll need zucchini blossoms, garden vegetables, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. The recipe doesn't call for meat, but you can add tofu or chicken depending on what you feel like eating.

3. Zucchini Flower with Curry and Lime Yogurt: This meal is satisfying and light, perfect for snacking or as an appetizer. You'll need zucchini flowers/blossoms, flour, sparkling water, yellow curry, ginger, garlic, lime zest and juice, and Greek or full-fat yogurt. The zucchini flowers are fried, and on the side, you can make a zesty yogurt mix to create the perfect dip for them. It's that simple; the whole process takes less than 30 minutes, and you can make as many zucchini flowers as you'd like.

4. Zucchini Flower Quesadillas with Mushrooms: This recipe brings the authentic flavors of Mexican food markets right to your kitchen. It's simple and most of the ingredients are things you likely already have in either your garden or pantry. You'll need squash blossoms, lard, Oaxaca cheese (or any melting cheese), white onion, garlic and serrano pepper. If you want to add some heat, add epazote leaves. For the tortillas, you can either buy them or make them fresh with masa flour, which is finely ground corn flour. Make sure you have salsa close by to give your quesadillas the proper kick!

5. Zucchini Flower Pizza: "Fiori di zucca," or zucchini flowers in English, are delicate seasonal ingredients cherished in Italian households. Italians incorporate zucchini flowers into their staple household meals, making them popular dishes during the summer. Make this pizza a whole event with family and friends by preparing the dough and toppings from scratch. For the Honey Chili Topping, you'll need honey, red chili flakes, red wine vinegar, and kosher salt. For the pizza, you'll need mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, dried oregano, squash blossoms, garlic oil, honey chili, and mixed basil and tarragon. It's best to prepare the dough a day before, as it involves a lot of waiting in the process. Enjoy this recipe from making the crust to the last bite.

6. Pasta with Zucchini Blossoms: Also known as "Pasta ai Fiori di Zucca," this dish features zucchini blossoms, penne pasta, extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, parsley, saffron threads, fine cornmeal, and grated Parmesan cheese. It's another signature Italian household meal served in the summer. The result is a delightful cold pasta dish that you can customize by adding or omitting ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, zucchini, or chopped asparagus to truly enjoy the flavors of the season.

7. Zucchini Blossom Frittata: A frittata is the perfect brunch food, combining eggs, vegetables, and heartier ingredients. For this frittata, you'll need zucchini flowers, garlic, fresh mint, pecorino romano cheese, plain bread crumbs, eggs, and extra virgin olive oil. You can also serve it with ricotta cheese on the side, but it pairs equally well with a nice glass of wine or some orange juice—it all depends on your preference.

8. Fried Zucchini Blossom Pancakes: Known in Italian as "Frittelle di fiori di zucca," these pancakes are not your regular breakfast pancakes; they are savory, so hold off on the maple syrup! To make them, you'll need fresh zucchini blossoms, ricotta, freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, an egg, flour, milk, and salt. The whole process takes about 30 minutes and yields as many zucchini flowers as you have. They are the perfect appetizer or side dish for hearty meat dishes.

9. Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Goat Cheese and Herbs: Stuffed zucchini blossoms are a popular appetizer in Italian households and a dish you can also find in trattorias. For the recipe, you'll need zucchini blossoms, fresh squash blossoms, creamy goat cheese, fresh herbs, garlic powder, all-purpose flour, sparkling water or cold club soda, and vegetable oil for frying. Some things to keep in mind while making this: you might need to use toothpicks for sealing the blossoms, but be careful not to cause tears. Additionally, use a piping bag to fill them up, and remember that blossoms burn easily.

10. Stuffed Squash Blossom Fritters in Red Sauce: This is another traditional household dish originating from the central region of Mexico. For the red sauce, you'll need water or broth, Roma tomatoes, white onion, garlic, and a bay leaf. As for the stuffing, you'll need fresh large squash blossoms, melted cheese of choice such as Oaxaca or Manchego, and separated egg whites and yolks, along with vegetable oil. The recipe is simple, taking just 30 minutes to make, and is a perfect main dish. Be sure to grab some corn tortillas and avocados to pair it with, along with a cold mineral water soda.

Final thoughts

Remember that the zucchini squash blossoms need to be fresh; once harvested, they will wilt like flowers do, so it's a battle against time.

As you can see, the blossoms are versatile and easily used as appetizers, main or side dishes, and can be mixed with different ingredients. Now you know what to do with your flower blossoms once you pick your zucchini from the garden. Remember that wherever you cook the blossoms, you can add the zucchini, and vice versa. These are just well-known recipes that have earned a permanent spot on people's tables.










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