Weekend cooking – fried squash blossoms

For me, cooking fleur de courgette (zucchini flower) is an annual summer ritual. It all started years ago when we took the overnight train down to Nice and then walked into the old quarter where we discovered a traiteur that made all of the southern classics such as pissaladière, stuffed vegetables and delicious stuffed fleur de courgette.

Regrettably the elderly couple who sold this delicious food only could think about themselves and not their adoring customers so they retired. Personally I felt they retired too young. It’s not as if they had reached 95 years old yet, but no, they were selfish and thought that 90 years old was old enough so they closed their shop.

This caused considerable stress for me since the most perfect pissaladière on the Cote d’Azure was now gone. I’ve searched all over the region and everywhere that is supposed to be “good” or even “great” is a disappointment. The one upside is that this tragic event pushed me into preparing the tasty little flowers. Or at least, I try.

Now I go to the local produce markets (they’re readily available around Nice right across into Italy) and buy up the fresh zucchini flowers in the morning and cook them that day. They’re extremely delicate so you can’t let them sit around.

As mentioned on the front page, we’re still a few months out from them being available but for the gardeners out there, now is the time to make sure you’re on track for growing them this summer. I don’t recall finding them in the US but that may have changed since I left. Even here in Paris, I rarely see the flowers available.

The Nice traiteur used to offer a few options of stuffing but the typical one was with soft (young) goat cheese. Give it a try, they’re really great.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    If I had the blossoms, I would just automatically make my abuela’s soup. Your recipe sounds delicious, but I know my abuela’s soup is delicious.

  • Look up how to make tempura batter…..

  • Do you have room for a visitor in your shed? We can garden and cook like pros! I so want to come there and leave here. But, it’s grape season here again in Napa/Sonoma and the Spring is so beautiful. If I just stop following news I’d be so much more peaceful.

  • I am holding back on my potager…les Saints des Glace is still almost 2 weeks away. I was out yesterday working without a shirt, in shorts and tonight? There will be frost in the valley below my house. Still, I think we made it…a pretty normal spring without the nasty surprise of last year. I have flowers on my strawberries and buds on my raspberries. Next week, I leave for Libourne to work for 2 weeks at Chateau Vieux Chevrol for l’empamprage….the grapes are pushing! This should be a pretty good growing season. I cannot wait until I can enjoy my own stuffed fleurs de courgette!

  • Drew2u

    That is, of course, as long as one isn’t getting blasted by late-spring snowstorms…

    I’ve been trying to talk my father and grandfather into making fried squash blossoms, but we are really bad at frying foods and getting the correct amount of batter on the food item.

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