A white dish on a marble background with deep fried zucchini slices
Photography, Mark Roper

Fried Zucchini

A Roman street-food favourite.

Vegetables fried in batter are my go-to snack on the run in Rome. On my way home, I often stop off at I Supplì, my local friggitoria, to pick up a paper bag full of fried zucchini – don’t tell anyone! They are like fries and super addictive. I love them for their saltiness and somehow convince myself that they account for some of my daily vegetable intake. I also love eating them because they remind me of my mum. This is her recipe, and while she cuts her zucchini into rounds, in Rome they are most commonly cut lengthways. This batter is versatile – you can substitute the zucchini for any other crispy vegetable like broccoli or cauliflower. Take it from me, sage leaves come up a treat too. –Maria Pasquale

A white dish on a marble background with deep fried zucchini slices

Fried Zucchini

In her book The Eternal City, Maria Pasquale shares her mother's recipe for a traditional Roman snack: beer-battered and deep-fried zucchini sticks.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Italian, Roman
Servings 4


  • 4 medium-sized zucchini
  • salt for sprinkling
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 100 g cornstarch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 300 ml light beer or lager
  • 100 ml sparkling water


  • Top and tail the zucchini and, leaving the skins on, cut into strips a similar size and shape as potato fries. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave with a heavy plate or weight on top for about 30 minutes, to drain any excess fluid and keep the zucchini crisp when frying.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Add the egg yolk, beer and sparkling water and whisk together until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Leave to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • When you are ready to fry, heat plenty of vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan or deep frying pan until about 350°F (180°C) on a cooking thermometer. (Test the oil with a drop of batter: as soon as it sizzles and floats about the pan, the oil is ready to go.)
  • Pat the zucchini dry with paper towel, then toss a handful at a time into the batter, mixing to ensure each piece is evenly covered, before carefully lowering into the hot oil with a slotted spoon. Cook each batch until the batter is crisp and golden, about 2 minutes, turning regularly to ensure an even colour.
  • Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.

A blue and pink cookbook cover in a light frame.

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