Tempura zucchini flowers

It’s January, which means for freelancers everywhere NO CASH. Yes, seasonally it’s a tough time of year for those who invoice but with every fiscal cloud there’s a silver lining if you think frugally. This year for me, it’s zucchini flowers.


We came back from holidays to find our garden thriving (thanks to an excellent house sitter) and, although there was plenty of lettuce, basil and some promise showing in the tomato dept, lurking behind some huge leaves was some serious zucchini action.


Sure there’s zucchini pasta, zucchini pizza and zucchini fritters but how about those flowers? Taking the advice of an eight-year-old neighbouring gardener (thanks Red) I picked only the male flowers (later investigation reveals females taste just as good but if you pick these too early you may sacrifice the zucchini itself).


I used Simmone Logue’s SBS tempura batter recipe and, after rolling them in flour, was surprised by how well it turned out. It was the first time I attempted a tempura batter and I used good (Australian) olive oil in a small pan.


The recipe produced way more batter than I needed for a group of four adults and two children but I’ll just reduce the measurements next time.


The result was delicious. I shook some David’s Kosher salt over the top and instead of serving with lemon I used some limes from our tree. I placed the battered flowers on a mix of lettuce and beetroot leaves from the garden too. It was delicious, easy and, compared to the preparation degree of difficulty (small) looked TOTALLY impressive.


We served (zucchini) pizza for the main and everyone was happy. So, thanks go to you, zucchini plant!