Peering through the vast mass of king size leaves that have overtaken the patch at the North end of my vegetable garden, I spotted some charming trumpet style yellow flowers. The pumpkin plants have been a source of constant amusement as I attempt to tame their wandering limbs, and in the process of determining whether I had been sensible to plant a whole row, I had forgotten about the pretty yellow flowers that would unfurl themselves into the domain.
On hearing from my son, that Daddy was intending to chop them off in a panic that they may cause the plants to reseed and create havoc in our domestic garden patch, I hastily reminded him of the wonderful treat of fried flowers we had loved in Umbria.
Pumpkin flowers and zucchini flowers are sold by the bundle full in Italian markets and they are such a wonderful food to have, stuffed and baked, sliced into salads, or fried in a delicate batter – my absolute favourite.
So Christopher and I fought through our mini jungle, acquiring 12 decent flowers, perfect for our parmesan and basil laced batter. We washed them gently in cold water and patted them to dry, letting them rest in fresh air whilst we prepared the batter.
A whisk to ensure the baking powder mixed in with the flour, some finely grated parmesan and some chopped basil – a little rest and we were ready to fry.
I don’t have a deep fryer and for 12 flowers it seemed silly to get a wok full of oil, so we popped enough canola oil into a frypan to create about 2cm depth of oil. Once it was hot enough for a dollop of batter to cause a sizzle, we fried the flowers, 3 at a time until the batter was lovely and golden.
As they came out and onto the baking paper, the stem became a useful handle as we pulled the battered flower away and enjoyed the floral fritter.
Pumpkin Blossom Batter
1/2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup fresh basil. fiinely chopped
2 Tablespoons finely grated parmean
2 Tablespoons cold water
2 eggs, beaten