roman style courgette flowers

Roman-style courgette flowers: the Roman finger food

Roman-style courgette flowers are a classic finger food of Roman cuisine. The courgette flowers are stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies and fried in a simple, yeast-free batter. Delicious, to be enjoyed very hot, puffy and crunchy. You must taste them, like the supplì walking through the streets of Rome. We could say that even the Roman-style courgette flowers are a masterpiece: they are unforgettable! Let’s find out more about this street food delicacy!

Roman-style courgette flowers: a bit of history

The Roman-style courgette flowers, as I mentioned before, are a classic of the Roman cuisine. You can find them in all gastronomic places, from restaurants to rotisseries. Fried is widely used in Roman cuisine: there are many fried finger foods such as fried cod. Each menu always features a vast assortment of fried foods. Paul Valery simply adored fried food. Henry de Régnier defined frying in lard as “scents worthy of the smell of the gods”. The Roman-style courgette flowers are a recipe having Jewish origins, coming from the traditional cuisine of the Ghetto in Rome. Like the Giudia artichokes and cod fillets, the courgette flower is part of the Jewish-Roman cuisine. Although they are present in other Italian cuisines, they are also a must in traditional Roman cuisine. Ada Boni tells how vegetable “pieces” have always played a fundamental role in the history of frying. They were fried in batter and sold for “five pieces a penny”. In Rome they are a real institution, so much so that Aldo Fabrizi, a very famous comedian, says he wants them in the crown of flowers of his death.

Roman-style courgette flowers: traditional recipe

Roman-style courgette flowers are a simple and tasty appetizer. They are a true masterpiece of simplicity. They are composed of courgette flower with a filling of mozzarella and anchovies. It is important to eat them when they are fresh, in order to enjoy better the crunchiness and the tasty and stringy filling.

Choose large and capacious courgette flowers, use a dry mozzarella (which you have drained well). Then try to close them well to don’t loose the filling, which can come out. It is also important to have the batter ready, together with the seed oil, in order to mix the flowers and fry them directly.

For successful frying, the oil must be ready for frying. You can check it by dipping the tip of a toothpick in the batter and then in the oil. If it fryes, it is ready!

Another trick is not to cover the frying. Otherwise it creates a steam hood and becomes soft.

Roman-style courgette flowers: our recipe


For the batter

Cold sparkling water
250g 00 Flour
2 pinches of Salt
1 tsp Sugar

For the filling

12 Pumpkin Flowers
125g Mozzarella
6 Anchovies in oil

For frying

1lt Peanut oil

Preparing time: 15 min

Cooking time: 10 min

Serves: 12 portions


Choose the most beautiful, large and open courgette flowers you can find. Drain the mozzarella well and slice it into strips. Take the anchovies from the jar, at least 6 fillets and cut them in half thus obtaining 12 pieces.

Start filling the flowers delicately, from the opening side. Insert a strip of mozzarella and a fillet of anchovies, if it comes out you can press lightly in order to put the filling inside again. Once stuffed, close the flower by gently screwing the ends of the petals.

Then, place them on a tray. Once you finished, heat the peanut oil in a saucepan that is not too large and with high sides.

While the oil heats, prepare the batter. Pour the flour into a bowl, combine two pinches of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Then start pouring the cold sparkling water slowly. In the meantime, mix with a fork. There is no precise dose for sparkling water. The best thing is always to add it while stirring, until you get a thick and lump-free cream (it takes two minutes).

Once you have the batter, check that the oil is hot.  Start dipping one flower at a time in the batter, wrapping it well in the thick cream, then gently dip it into the hot oil. Put a couple of flowers at a time, no more.

When they start to be golden brown, turn them with the help of two forks. Be careful not to pierce them. As soon as they are well colored on both sides, drain them on absorbent paper and continue to fry the others.

Enjoy your Roman-style courgette flowers!

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