Fiori di Zucca – Ciuri i
For a short period of time, when the harvest
of the summer and winter squashes is at its peak, squash blossoms are available in great
Fiori di zucca
are a delicacy offered and cooked in every part of the
world: the Greeks fill the blossoms with feta cheese and cook them in tomato sauce; the Chinese deep fry them
and serve with a fish sauce; in Japan, squash blossom are fried in a tempura batter and served with their
traditional dipping sauce; in Mexico la sopa or la quesadillas de flor de calabaza are very popular dishes; every country
has its own way of serving and preparing these delicious squash
Sicily and the rest of Italy, squash blossoms are offered in all vegetable markets, and housewives cook
them in various ways. In season, they are part of every restaurant menu as an appetizer, as a condiment for
pasta or made into a frittata as a nourishing entrée or side dish.
most popular way to prepare the squash blossoms is to fry them, stuffed or plain, and coated with flour and eggs
or a light batter.
Palermo, the ciuri i cucuzza, in most cases, are simply stuffed with a piece of young cheese and fried
after being dipped in eggs or batter.
12 zucchini flowers (squash
½ lb Caciocavallo or mild young
3 filleted anchovies, cured in
oil (optional, but recommended)
Canola oil for
Chopped parsley for
Inspect the blossom for any foreign matter; gently open the petals and remove the stamens or pistils; then proceed
to carefully rinse well in cold water and transfer onto a baking tray lined with paper towels. Lightly sprinkle
with salt and pepper, and set aside.
the cheese into thin strips, the size of a pencil and 1 ½ inches in length. Set aside.
each anchovy into 4 pieces and set on the side.
into each flower a strip of cheese and a piece of anchovy; continue until all flowers are
Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl and pour the flour into a
heavy skillet, warm up ½ cup of oil over medium heat and prepare to fry the flowers 3 at a time. Sprinkle a few
pinches of salt in the oil to reduce splashing.
3 flowers into the flour and thoroughly coat on all sides. Then transfer into the bowl with the eggs.
Taking one flower at a time, remove from the eggs and shape into an oblong form, twisting the petals close so
the filling will not come out. Move them to the hot oil.
the blossoms, cooking for about 1 minute on each side or until golden and crunchy.
slotted spoon to remove the fiori di zucca to a baking tray lined
with paper towels, lightly sprinkle with a pinch of salt and set on the side. Repeat until all
flowers are fried.
warm or lukewarm and garnished with chopped parsley.
Stuffing can be made with small pieces of diced mozzarella cheese
or by filling each flower with 2 teaspoons of a mixture of ricotta, grated cheese, toasted breadcrumbs and herbs
and spices. Alternatively, the flowers can be filled with goat cheese, eggs, onion and spices or with a
mixture of Italian bread minus the crust and soaked in milk, a few tablespoons of heavy cream,
anchovies, parsley, oregano and salt and pepper.
simply prep and fry the blossoms in a light batter without any filling.
blossoms can also be coated in a pastetta, a light batter of flour
and eggs and fried; or they can be prepared like cutlets, dipped in eggs and then coated with breadcrumbs
and either fried or baked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes until golden and crispy.