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Deep-fried courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta and herbs

This has got to rank as one of the most exquisite and delicious vegetable treats ever – it’s certainly among our all-time favourites. You can vary the stuffing – or even leave it out altogether – and the dish will still be fantastic. Taken from River Cottage Veg Every Day! And featured in the River Cottage Veg TV show.


For the filling, beat the ricotta until soft and smooth, then stir in the cheese, herbs and some salt and pepper. Carefully scoop the filling into the courgette flowers: you should get 2–4 teaspoons in each one, depending on size. Twist the petals gently to enclose the mixture.

Just before you’re ready to cook, prepare the batter. Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Begin whisking in the water, until you have a batter the thickness of single cream. Be careful not to over-mix and don’t worry if there are a few lumps.

Meanwhile, heat about a 6cm depth of oil in a deep-fat fryer or deep, heavy saucepan (to come no more than a third of the way up the pan), till a cube of bread dropped in turns golden brown in about 1 minute.

Dip one stuffed courgette flower into the batter and immediately lower into the hot oil. Repeat with a couple more; do not cook more than 3 or 4 at a time. Cook for 1–2 minutes, until puffed up, crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper while you cook the remaining flowers.

Serve as soon as possible, sprinkled with a little flaky sea salt

and decorated, if you like, with other edible flowers.

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  • 8–12 courgette flowers
  • Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

For the filling

  • 100g ricotta
  • 2 good tablespoons grated Parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese
  • A large handful of mixed herbs, such as parsley and chives with a little marjoram or thyme, or parsley and a little mint, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the batter

  • 100g plain flour
  • 40g cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 200–225ml ice-cold sparkling mineral water to finish
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Nasturtiums or other edible flowers (optional)

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Veg Every Day!