Sicilian Squash or cucuzza
A hot summer morning, bright sun shining over garden, tiny insect life buzzing, cabbage butterflies feeding off the greens. Popping up over the large green leaves are the yellow delicate flowers sticking off the end of the zucchini separating the male from the female vegetables. I never realized that vegetables could be a gender. My mother on this morning will head out to her urban oasis and start to fill her basket of vegetables including the delectable yellow zucchini flowers. Every summer, when I would walk into the house and smell the oil frying in the pan, I could smell the scent of flour, basil, cheese and aromatic scent of the zucchini flowers. My mother’s typical recipe hails from her native land of Calabria, Italy. My usual response which always makes her laugh is “arrivao la stagione” in Calabrese dialect – Summer has arrived! A summer without zucchini flowers is not a summer in my home.
This batter of flowers is easy to make.
I don’t have the exact recipe so use your own judgment.
Mix flour, water, egg, chopped basil, chopped zucchini flowers, salt and parmesan cheese together. Beat it into a smooth batter. Heat oil in a pan and drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Remove from oil and place on a dish to dry off excess oil.