beignet de courgettes – deep-fried zucchini flowers

by Sharon Santoni

As the potager heads into full summer production, we find ourselves with a lot of courgettes or zucchini. We love to eat the courgettes when they are really small, and I try to pick them every day. But we also love the flowers.

Zucchini flowers are little gifts from the potager gods. They are pretty to see, they serve to attract the pollinators that we need, and they are delicious.

My friend Stacey Snacks cooks hers stuffed with ricotta, parmesan, and herbs, which is wonderful. You can see her recipe here.

Here in France, we most often eat them as a starter or as a nibble with drinks. I make up the batter in advance, and fry the flowers at the last moment. Using a big shallow pan, I can fry them in batches of 6-8 flowers, so the whole process only takes about 15 minutes.

To make the flower beignets, first, pick your blooms first thing in the morning. This is the moment when they are the freshest, and not yet wilting in the heat of the sun. Gently prise open the petals and check inside for any little bugs, then leave them in a cool place until you are ready to use them. It is preferable not to wash the flowers because you don’t want any sogginess in your batter.

I should add that I also love to use the tiny zucchini that are only finger-sized and still attached to the flowers – delicious!

To make the batter could not be easier! For around 15 flowers I use two cups of plain flour, a good pinch of salt, and then start stirring in beer until I get the right consistency. Sometimes I add an egg, either way, works well.

Your mix should be slightly thinner than a pancake mix. Beat it well to ensure there are no flour lumps, then gently place your first batch of flours in the batter, making sure they are covered on all sides. Some people dust the flowers with flour before dipping them in the batter, I don’t find that necessary.

Carefully place each flower in your pan of simmering oil. Add as many flowers as you can without letting them touch each other. After a few minutes, turn the flowers to check their colour. You want to achieve a light golden finish.

I’d love to know if you make these and what your recipe looks like. I have also tried using the flowers from squash but I’m not such a fan. Please let me know how you use your excess potager produce in the comments below!


Bonnie Wood June 28, 2022 - 10:38 pm

Sharon, your recipe sounds yummy!!! Long story short, we simply don’t have the space to grow squash!!! my backyard isn’t big enough!!!

Fran Harris June 28, 2022 - 10:44 pm

Just saw these at my farmers market last week, but didn’t have a recipe. Hopefully, they will have some available this coming Friday and I will definitely try this recipe! Thanks so much!

Susan Sugar June 28, 2022 - 11:06 pm

Hi Sharon, beautiful photography throughout this recipe! I hope to locate some zucchini flowers for the 4th of July weekend. Thank you!!

Debra McMurtrie June 29, 2022 - 12:40 am

I found you can grate and freeze zuchinis either in recipe portions or as a large batch. It breaks up well and is available for pies and quiches into winter.
I enjoy your beautiful photos and words – thank you.

Kelly DeMott June 29, 2022 - 2:04 am

So pretty and simple. Soon I am moving to a house where I’ll be able to grow zucchini finally. Thank you so much for sharing

Denise Duvall June 29, 2022 - 4:57 am

I make these when I have zucchini flowers. They are my favourite! Even my husband loves them and he hates zucchini!

Denise Duvall June 29, 2022 - 4:59 am

You should check the flowers for insects, before you bring them in the kitchen. One time I went to butterfly the flowers to have larger fritters and bees flew out of all of them. My kitchen was filled with bees! Now I check them first.

Mary Ann Falciani June 29, 2022 - 2:03 pm

My mom used to make these when I was a little girl and I just loved them. I do not have enough space to grow the zucchini. I wish I could find them at a farmer’s market. They are quite delicious.

dykh June 29, 2022 - 2:47 pm

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marianna June 30, 2022 - 4:15 pm

Thank you for posting. As soon as they are available at the market, I’m going to make this delicious recipe. I think the beer is what puts these over the top.


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