When I see zucchini flowers, I instantly think of the best vegetarian entrée dish ever. Crispy ricotta stuffed zucchini flowers also known as courgette flowers. Zucchini flowers are just so beautiful and so is this dish. This is the perfect vegetarian entrée to impress your guests. It is sophisticated enough to start off a dinner party or it can work nicely as a side dish to accompany the main meal. You can even make them ahead then deep fry them just before serving.
Where possible, I tend to choose zucchini flowers with a baby zucchini attached. These are the female flowers. I find that having the baby zucchini makes them taste a better. It is easy to prepare zucchini flowers before stuffing. Using one finger gently give the stigma a soft push, it snaps right off and can be carefully removed from the flower. If you choose to give the flowers a wash externally, just lay them gently on paper towels to dry off.
Next for the ricotta stuffing. The main ingredient for the ricotta stuffing is, of course, ricotta. If you choose to use just ricotta, that would be fine, too. I like making the stuffing just a little more special and different. Adding some fresh basil leaves, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and lemon zest gives it a nice kick of flavour.
Honestly speaking, for health reason, we do keep deep fryer recipes to a minimum. However, I simply cannot resist these crispy ricotta stuffed zucchini flowers. Between these and the occasional Chinese spring rolls, we hardly have deep fried foods. Hence, I do reserve my quota of deep fried foods for these. They’re just so delicious. I love these zucchini flowers served as is with a crack of salt and pepper and a wedge of lemon or with a nice simple salsa. It’s your choice.