Zucchini flowers are such special ingredients. Beautiful to look at and delicious when devoured. Let’s spoil your friends and family with this gold and yellow themed salad!
What Are Zucchini Flowers?
Zucchini flowers or zucchini blossoms are literally the flowers of a zucchini. There are 2 types of zucchini flowers, the female and male flower. The female zucchini flowers develop into the zucchinis we eat on a regular basis. The male zucchini flowers have a thin stem at the end.
Zucchini flowers are a summer delicacy and one that has been enjoyed by the Italians for the longest time. They are not around for long so if you do see them at your local grocer or perhaps at a farmer’s market, be sure to grab some!
How Do You Eat Zucchini Flowers?
Zucchini flowers can be eaten raw and it has an earthy flavour. The petals are velvety and the small stem is crunchy.
The most popular way to eat zucchini flowers is to stuff them with a form of cheese, battered and then deep fried. This I have to say is my least favourite way to eat them. The zucchini flowers are so delicate and once you deep fry them, it loses not only its fragility, it is no longer as vibrant to eat or look at. And it also loses its natural flavour as it is taken over by the batter and the gooey cheese.
Some people just stuff them with goat’s cheese or ricotta and eat them as is. This at least keeps its original textures with the added dairy component. Really is quite yummy.
I personally love eating them raw. I love feeling the flutters of the zucchini flower petals in my mouth. And I also like eating the stem raw. That earthy crunch is so good!
What Are Yellow Carrots?
Yellow carrots are essentially part of the colourful varieties of carrots you’re able to find in the market these days. The colours differ between them all due to their pigments. Yellow carrots are yellow because they contain anthocyanins.
Apart from their genetic makeup, the colour of the carrot is also dependent on how they are grown. When the seed is planted during the year, the quality and condition of the soil and the amount of water and sun it gets, all affect the colour of the carrot.
The taste between all the coloured carrots have slight differences, most distinct when eaten raw. Yellow carrots are slightly sweeter than their siblings and therefore perfect for salad recipes.
Why I Love Yellow Salad with Zucchini Flowers
For the longest time, I always thought zucchini blossoms were only ever served in fancy restaurants. And so, when I do dine out and it’s on the menu, I do tend to order them. I guess the “exclusivity” of it was born out of the fact that when you did order them as a starter, you normally only get one!
But zucchini flowers are much more readily available nowadays albeit being pricey. But I’m happy to pay for them occasionally, especially when there is a special occasion as it always brings so much joy to my dinner guests! It’s like the caviar of vegetables! LOL!
And personally, I do like them raw. Nothing better than watching my daughter put a flower in her mouth and enjoying the taste. I also love the finish. Those tiny zucchinis are so crunchy!
Apart from the zucchini blossoms, I am also a massive fan of yellow beets. I love creating salads in coloured themes and when I saw the zucchini flowers, I knew I had to make a yellow themed recipe!
How to Make Yellow Salad with Zucchini Flowers
How to Cook the Golden Beets
Wash the golden beets to remove any dirt they may have.
Bring a medium sized saucepan of water to the boil. Add the golden beets and boil for 30 minutes.
When it’s cooked, drain, let it cool and then peel the skin. You can use a peeler or just use your hands to brush the skin off the vegetable.
Then slice the beets to about 0.5 cm thickness and set aside.
If you love beetroot and you’re wanting to create a recipe of your own, check out our pairings resource. What Goes Well with Beetroot will give you some great ideas of what other proteins, herbs or vegetables will complement it.
How to Cook the Yellow Carrots
Cut the tops off the yellow carrots, leaving about 2 cm on the top.
Peel the carrots. The easiest way to do this is to lay it flat on the chopping board and peel from top to bottom.
If the carrots are quite thick, you can cut them into halves or quarters, lengthwise. Try to get them all about even in size.
Bring a wide saucepan of water to the boil. Add the carrots and boil for 8 minutes.
Drain, run under cold water to stop the cooking process, pat dry and set aside.
How to Cook the Yellow Squash
Cut the yellow squash into 8 wedges each.
In the last minute of the cooking process of the carrots, add the squash and cook for 1 minute.
Drain, run under cold water to stop the cooking process, pat dry and set aside.
How to Prepare Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
In a small mixing bowl, add the honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
Mix until well combined.
How to Assemble the Salad
On a flat platter, place the golden beet discs in a S bend shape from top to bottom. Mix up the different sizes. They don’t have to be consistent.
Drizzle some dressing over the golden beets.
Place the carrots randomly on the platter.
Place the yellow squash wedges on the sides in 2 heaps.
Drizzle more dressing over the carrots and squash.
Dip the zucchini flowers into the dressing and place them randomly on top of the salad.
Drizzle more dressing over the whole salad.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the remaining dressing in a small jug should any of your guests want more.
And that’s it! This is a really clean and simple salad when it comes to its flavours. No roasting, spices or herbs as the star of the dish is the zucchini flower. Dipped into the sweet and tangy dressing, they are mouthfuls of pure joy!
More Fancy Salad Recipes:
- Lobster Tail Salad with Mango Dressing
- Salmon Sashimi Salad with Yuzu Vinaigrette
- Roasted Beetroot Salad with Halloumi and Pomegranate Glaze
- Pomelo Ceviche Salad
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dutch Carrots
Easy Salad Dressing Recipes:
Yellow Salad with Zucchini Flowers
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Bring a medium size saucepan of water to boil. Wash the golden beets and place them in a saucepan and boil for 30 minutes. Drain, let it cool and peel the skin. Then slice the golden beets to about 0.5 cm and set aside.
- Cut the tops off the yellow carrots, leaving about 2 cm of green stalk at the end. Peel the yellow carrots. If they are particularly big or thick, cut them into halves or quarters, lengthwise. Bring a wide saucepan of water to the boil. Add the yellow carrots and boil for 8 minutes. Drain, run under cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside to dry on paper towels.
- Cut the yellow squash into 8 wedges. Add the squash into the saucepan with the carrots at the last minute for 1 minute. Drain, run under cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside to dry on paper towels.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey.
- Mix until well combined.
- On a flat platter, place the golden beet discs in a S bend shape from top to bottom. Mix up the different sizes. They don’t have to be consistent.
- Drizzle some dressing over the golden beets.
- Place the carrots randomly on the platter.
- Place the yellow squash wedges on the sides in 2 heaps.
- Drizzle more dressing over the carrots and squash.
- Dip the zucchini flowers into the dressing and place them randomly on top of the salad.
- Drizzle more dressing over the whole salad.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the remaining dressing in a small jug should any of your guests want more.
- The whole premise of the salad is to create a yellow salad. Golden beets can be replaced by any beets, yellow carrots can be replaced by purple or normal Dutch carrots and squash can be replaced by courgettes.
- You can replace honey with maple syrup to make this recipe vegan.
- For a bit of a kick, you can use hot English mustard for the dressing.