FIORI DI ZUCCA FRITTI (fried zucchini blossoms, about 20)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup cold, sparkling mineral water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus oil for deep frying
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
10 anchovy fillets, cut in half crosswise
20 large squash blossoms
1. In a small bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the eggs, mineral water and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and whisk until just blended. Cut the mozzarella into sticks 1 inch long by ¼ inch wide by ¼ inch thick. Pat the anchovies dry with paper towels.
2. In a heavy frying pan at least 3 inches deep or in a deep fat fryer, pour in oil to a depth of 1 inch. Heat to 375*F on a deep-frying thermometer or until a bit of the batter sizzles when dropped into the oil.
3. While the oil is heating, gently spread open the petals of each flower and carefully pinch out the filament inside. Insert a piece of cheese and anchovy into each flower. Press petals closed.
4. One at a time, dip the flowers into the batter turning to coat completely. Lift out and drain off excess. Working with a few at a time, slip the flowers into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Continue with the remaining flowers. Serve immediately.
from Michele Scicolone, Savoring Italy (Williams Sonoma)