Deep-fried courgette flowers
These are surprisingly easy to make once you ve mastered the technique, and they look incredibly pretty on the plate. You might also like to try stuffing the courgette flowers with some soft goat's cheese flavoured with a little chopped thyme before coating them in batter and deep-frying, as below.
Prep 15mins Cook 25mins
Firstly, separate the flowers from each courgette and check your flowers for insects (especially if you have vegetarians coming for supper). Set the flowers aside.
Slice the courgettes as thinly as you can. In a large frying pan, warm a slug of olive oil over a medium-low heat, then add the courgette slices with the garlic. Season with a sprinkling of salt to help draw out moisture and cook slowly for about 10 minutes until they are concentrated and oily, but not at all watery, stirring from time to time; don't let them brown more than a shade. Let cool slightly.
Carefully spoon the cooked courgette mixture into the courgette flowers. You should get 2–4 heaped teaspoonfuls into each one, depending on the size of the flowers.
Heat a 10cm depth of oil in a suitable deep, heavy-based saucepan until it registers 180°C on a frying thermometer, or until a cube of white bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in just under a minute.
In the meantime, make the batter: sift the flour and salt together into a large mixing bowl, then whisk in the egg yolk and sparkling water.
Cook 2–4 courgette flowers at a time, depending on their size and the diameter of your pan: dip the stuffed flowers into the batter to coat, then carefully lower them into the hot oil. Deep-fry for 1–2 minutes, until puffed up, crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with flaky salt and serve at once, with lemon wedges for squeezing.
- 12 courgettes, with flowers
- A little olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- Flaky sea salt
- About 1 litre sunflower or groundnut oil for deep-frying
For the batter:
- 125g plain flour
- Good pinch of sea salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 175ml ice-cold sparkling water
- Lemon wedges
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Who needs meat? Learn to turn local, seasonal produce into delicious veggie dishes at the River Cottage Cookery School