ZUCCHINI FLOWER FRITTATA
Edward and Eugenia developed this recipe in Colorado. As mentioned earlier, we use rosemary in frying oil because it cuts down the free radicals in the oil by 90 percent.
Italian Family Dining by Edward & Eugenia Giobbi
• 18 large zucchini flowers
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups dry white wine
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
• 10 eggs
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Vegetable oil for frying
• 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
• 1/2 cup grated ricotta salata
Check the insides of the zucchini flowers for insects and shake them out. Brush any dirt off the flowers, but do not wash them or the flowers won't be crisp when you fry them. Chop 6 of the flowers and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the flour, wine, baking powder, and a pinch of salt and refrigerate for 1 hour (a little more or less is okay). Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and chopped zucchini flowers and cook until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Scrape the onion and zucchini flowers into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, milk, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
Heat the oven to 300°F
Place 3/4 inch of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet with the rosemary. Heat the oil over high heat. The oil must be very hot. You can test it by throwing a dash of flour into the oil. If the flour pops, the oil is ready for frying. Dunk the zucchini flowers into the batter and place them gently in the hot oil. Don't put too many flowers in at once or it will bring down the temperature of the oil, and they mustn't touch sides or they will stick together. Do not flip the flowers over until you can see that the lower edges have turned golden brown, about 2 minutes. If you are using an iron skillet and the flowers stick, let them cook 30 seconds more. Turn the flowers over with tongs and fry for an additional minute, then remove and drain on paper towels. Do not add more battered flowers until you are sure the oil has come up in temperature again. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Place half of the fried flowers on the bottom of an ovenproof nonstick pan in a pinwheel pattern Pour half of the egg mixture on top. Add the ricotta salata, then another layer of fried zucchini flowers. Add the remaining egg mixture, cover, and bake for 30 minutes, until a knife plunged into the center comes out clean. Allow to rest for 15 minutes, and then flip the frittata over onto a serving platter. Cut into wedges.