Take your zucchini flowers and cut off the stem. Clean them gently with a towel and then gently open them up just enough to allow you to reach in and remove the pistil. Be careful not to damage the delicate petals–and try not to separate them if you can, but it is no disaster if the flower opens a bit, as the batter will keep the flower together.
Take a small bit of mozzarella and stuff it into the flower, then a bit of anchovy, then another bit of mozzarella. (Obviously, we are talking about very small bits here that can fit inside the flower!) Then close the flower up, pressing it together gently with your hands, and pass it through flour and then an egg-and-cheese mixture as explained in the recipe for Angelina’s Fried Vegetables.
Fry the zucchini flowers in light olive oil until golden brown. Drain them on paper towels or on a baking rack and serve still warm, sprinkled with salt and accompanied by lemon wedges.
NOTES: These fried zucchini flowers can be eaten on their own as an antipasto or as a delicious snack, or or with other fritti as a secondo.
If you are using zucchini flowers from your garden, be aware that you should use the flowers that grow on a stem. The flowers that grow at the end of the zucchini themselves can be used in a pinch, but they will not be as flavorful, and they will have a hard end (where you cut off the zucchini) that will be less edible. And be careful as you open the flowers–you may find a bee or other insect inside!
While I would venture that mozzarella and anchovy is the most common stuffing for zucchini flowes, as with other stuffed vegetables, there are variations: ricotta and ham, ricotta and mozzarella, capers instead of or in addition to the anchovies, mortadella and fontina, tuna mousse… the possibilities are endless, but the inclusion of some sort of soft cheese that melts and binds the stuffing together seems to be a constant.
And, of course, it is possible to enjoy zucchini flowers fried without any stuffing at all. They are very tasty on their own. The flavor is really unique and hard to describe.
The frying method can also be varied–the most common variation being dipping the flowers into an actual pastella, or batter, of which there are many versions, giving a lighter or heavier texture depending on the ingredients. (One of these days, I will do a post on different batters.)