If you are a fan of zucchini flowers, then you are going to get pretty excited about this Crispy Zucchini Flower Stuffed with Butter and Anchovy Risotto!
Lovely zucchini flowers stuffed with a butter anchovy risotto, then coated in breadcrumbs, some fried however some I did in an air fryer.
The end result, crispy, sweet, creamy, and so so flavorful in every bite. You have to try these! A delicious surprising appetizer feast!
Song of the day: "Let's go Crazy" by Prince.
Inspired by Nicoletta in Rome!
Nicoletta is in Rome for a bit and she has been sharing some of the new things she has tried lately. I always get excited because the food in Rome has always been amazing! More so, on an evening out with family at a pizzeria in this lovely park all lit up, Nicoletta shared the supplì she had: cacio e pepe, classic, and zucchini flower. When she told me how good the zucchini flower one was, and what it was stuffed with, I just knew I had to make it here in Canada. So I did, and I want to share it with you.
Come let's get into the kitchen and whip up some of these delicious Crispy Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Butter Anchovy Risotto!
What you will need for this Crispy Zucchini flowers Stuffed with Butter Anchovy Risotto:
For the Risotto:
- Carnaroli or Arborio rice
- extra virgin olive oil
- anchovy fillets
- vegetable stock
- Parmigiano Reggiano
For the flowers:
- Zucchini flowers
- Italian-style breadcrumbs
- panko crumbs
- peanut oil, sunflower oil
Time to make the Risotto!
Don't be afraid when making risotto, it is really easy and I am going to show you how:
- The first thing you want to do is get the garlic that I usually press a bit to release the flavor, and into the olive oil in the pan it goes. Pick a nice saute' pan that is not too deep. The one I use has a 2 ½ inch depth. As for the diameter, not too small, you want the rice nice and evenly spread on the bottom. Mine is a 12 inch for this amount of rice.
- Also, you want to put your vegetable stock in a pot on very low heat.
- Secondly, turn the heat for the pan to a medium setting and get that garlic sizzling infusing all that lovely flavor into the oil!
- Time to toss in the rice. Stir it well, making sure it gets nice and toasted and also coated with the garlic infused oil.
- The fun begins, I usually start with 2 ladles of stock, stirring continually until the broth dissipates and I start to hear that sizzling sound in the pan. Then time to add one ladle of stock at a time. Stir and wait for the stock to dissipate before adding the next. You continue this for about 18 minutes or until your rice is at that al dente stage.
- Turn off the heat and add the butter, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and the anchovy fillets which I turned into a paste with the mortar and pestle.
- Give it a good stir and cover. Let sit for about 5 minutes. In our case we are going to let it cool, because we are going to stuff the zucchini flowers with it. TIP: Leftover risotto that sits in the fridge overnight is even better when making supplì or arancini.
Tips on prepping zucchini flowers
- The first thing you need to do is cut off the spines at the bottom of the flower. It is where the flower meets the stem
- Next trim off the stem leaving about a cm off the stem connected. Cut along the flower lengthwise, and open, creating a butterfly shape.
- Inside the flower is a stile, it is the little knob in the center of the flower right at the bottom. Just break that off and discard.
- Wash gently then lay on a paper towel to dry. The zucchini flowers are ready to use!
Stuffing the zucchini flowers!
This is really fun. We have to stuff the flowers with the risotto. This is how we do that:
- With a spoon I scoop about a good tablespoon of risotto into the flower. Spread it throughout leaving a border to over lap.
- I then take to two sides and bring them to the center encasing the risotto in the flower. Take the stuffed flower in my hand, and form them into an oval cylinder closing off the seams. I place it on a plate, seam side down.
- This is done until all the flowers are stuffed. Then into the fridge they go while I get my dredging ingredients ready!
You are going to need 2 bowls, one for the egg, and one for the breadcrumbs.
- In one bowl crack the eggs, season with salt and pepper and a pinch of paprika, beat well.
- In the other bowl we add the Italian-style breadcrumbs and panko and give it a good mix.
- Take the stuffed zucchini flowers out of the fridge. Take one, gently place into the egg wash, and coat well. Place into the breadcrumbs and coat and press into the flower. Shake off any excess breading and place on a plate. Give them a little press.
- Continue this until all the flowers are breaded.
To Fry or Air fry these Crispy Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Butter Anchovy Risotto?
I was just going to fry them all, however, I remembered that I had an air fryer in the cupboard, so was curious to see if these stuffed and breaded zucchini flowers would be crispy and delicious done in the air fryer.
At first glance you do notice that the fried flowers are more moist and golden. The ones done in the air fryer were a bit dryer and lighter in color. More so, I would say the crispness was the same.
The fried ones called out to me first, of course. What doesn't taste great fried? The crunch you hear biting into these flowers is incredible. Lovely toasted coating that leads you to a very creamy, starchy, oh so flavorful risotto. The little hint of Parmigiano is welcoming, and that anchovy comes in so nice and subtly, balancing well with the butter notes!
As for the air fryer ones. The crispiness was the same. They were not as moist inside, however the flavor was still on the up and up. Healthier is better, but moderation is key!
It is always sad to see the zucchini flower season come to an end. I think there are a few weeks left in the season. I truly can't get enough of these gems. For those of you who have never tried them, put it on your bucket list. Even better give this Crispy Zucchini Flower Stuffed with Butter Anchovy Risotto a try. In Rome they call them "Supplì" They are absolutely and outrageously delicious, more so very addictive!