There have been millions of words written on the zucchini flower. The forerunner of the ever-burgeoning mottled cylinder, is edible. More than edible, they're delicious in an Earth Mother kind of way.
That which some just chuck away as waste, can in fact become this delectable antipasto, or be part of a pasta condiment or even a salad element (I never disdain fresh flowers tossed in with my salad greens). Now that they're starting to bud on farmer's markets everywhere, gather those blossoms while you can and prepare for yet another true Roman taste bud epiphany.
15 zucchini blossoms
4 salted anchovy fillets (optional)
200 g (1 cup) mozzarella, diced
100 g (1/2 cup) unbleached all purpose flour
Sparkling water or beer, chilled
Oil for frying
Trim pistils and stems off the flowers, paying extra attention not to break them, they are very delicate. Wash the blossoms carefully with water and baking soda, rinse with plenty cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
In a mixing bowl, blend a glass of chilled sparkling water, flour and salt until fluffy and add a pinch of baking soda for an even lighter batter. If you like you can use chilled beer in place of the sparkling water.
Dip the stuffed flowers in the batter open side up and deep fry in scalding olive oil in small batches, until golden.
Briefly park on paper towel and serve hot with the remaining wine, if any is left.