To try: 4 ways to understand fried zucchini flowers in Rome

To try: 4 ways to understand fried zucchini flowers in Rome

The stuffed pumpkin flower in batter is one of the jewels of Roman cuisine: 4 chefs from the capital have reinterpreted it in a modern way.

If you want to conquer a girl, you give her a bouquet of red roses. If you want to conquer a greedy girl, give her a bag of stuffed courgette flowers in batter . The beautiful is combined with the useful: what could be better than a flower, fragrant, fried in a crunchy batter that contains a savory and stringy filling?stuffed courgette flowers in batter can be found in every Roman home or pizzeriaAnd who could have been the creators of this insured towing genius if not the Romans? It is they who in every house, in every restaurant, in every pizzeria, in every rotisserie, open the petals of this first fruit, fill them with mozzarella and anchovies, pass them in a thick batter and fry them in deep oil . Although the Romans are very democratic and grant great freedoms, on 3 points they are inflexible: the batter (woe to bread the flowers!); the filling, which must be rigorously made with mozzarella from the day before and anchovies in oil or salt; the quantity of the frying oil (very generous). On the rest: do vobis . Some (no doubt reckless) Roman chefs have revolutionized the concept of pumpkin flower in batter from the very beginning.


  1. courgette flowerFried zucchini flowers are ordered in a pizzeria, in a tavern: it is difficult for them to appear on the menus of elegant restaurants that perhaps have round tables, leather armchairs, prestigious paintings and a highly sought-after wine list. Yet the first starter on the menu of an elegant restaurant in Rome is the pumpkin flower in batter. The restaurant is La Penna d’Oca , located a few meters from Piazza del Popolo; the courgette flower in question is the classic courgette flower fried in batter (50% rice flour, 50% flour 00, carbonated water and beer) and served on a zucchini cream . The povertydel fiore alla romana does not match the refinement of the restaurant: for this reason the fior di latte is replaced with buffalo mozzarella and the alice from the supermarket shelf with the Cantabrian alice, the most famous in the world. Break the mold: ignore the cutlery and eat the flower with your hands, dipping it in the zucchini cream.
  2. flower-of-zucchini-carbonaraThe most avid carnivores will be able to console themselves with the zucchini flower alla carbonara of the Mamma Mia  restaurant (via Giovanni Pacini, 31), a real kingdom of high quality meat. Here the anchovy and mozzarella-based filling is replaced with two frozen hemispheres of egg yolks beaten with pecorino, pepper, hot water and the fat that the bacon releases when browning in the pan. Once the courgette flowers have been passed in the batter (based on beer, 00 flour and rice flour), the thermal shock – caused by the contrast between the heat of the oil and the cold of the filling – causes the flowers to swell like clouds: afterwards one bite, they overflow with carbonara.
  3. flower mori brothersAfter carnivores, the second human category to be satisfied is that of Northern vegetarians . At Osteria Fratelli Mori in Testaccio the southern mozzarella is replaced by the northern taleggio. The courgette flower that you can enjoy sitting at the table of this tavern has a stringy filling based on taleggio . The batter is also sui generis: there is brewer’s yeast inside (2 g per 200 g of flour and 200 ml of warm water).
  4. free-style-courgette-flowersMany do not consider the zucchini flower in Roman-style batter a seafood dish. It is therefore urgent to satisfy even the category of fish lovers. Thinking about it is Max Mariola who in the StileLibero restaurant  offers his customers, almost as if they were tapas, courgette flowers stuffed with buffalo mozzarella and raw red prawns . The peculiarity is also outside: the flower, once stuffed, is passed in a batter of eggs and flour and then in the panko, the Japanese breadcrumbs, much softer than normal. To degrease the frying, Max thought of a slightly spicy fresh tomato sauce.

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