27 July 2014

Stuffed courgette flowers

I recently wrote a blog about growing courgettes. One of the great bonuses of courgette plants is a steady supply of courgette flowers. You can sometimes buy the flowers in season, but they are usually rather expensive. The flowers are great raw in salads, but they also make a great antipasto stuffed with ricotta and an anchovy fillet and deep fried. Courgette flowers usually open in the morning, and close later on in the day. If you pick the flowers late in the day you will have to tease them open carefully. I use semolina flour when I deep-fry courgette flowers, which gives a light and crispy coating.



6 courgette flowers
6 salted anchovy fillets
100g fresh ricotta
1 egg
500ml sunflower/vegetable oil for deep-frying
100g semolina flour


Gently wash the courgette flowers.

Tease them open and check that the inside is clean. Carefully place an anchovy fillet and a piece of ricotta inside the flower. Twist the flower shut around the filling.

Break the egg into a bowl and beat it until combined.

Put the semolina flour in a wide bowl.

Dip the courgette flowers in the egg, and then in the semolina flour until well coated.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan to 180C. I use an old sugar thermometer to measure the temperature, but if you don't have one, test the oil by dropping in a small piece of bread. When the bread starts to brown and sizzle the oil is at the right temperature.

(A small note on deep-frying: the oil is hot and can be dangerous. Sensible people say you shouldn't fill the pan more than one-third full of oil.)

When the oil is at the right temperature, carefully fry the flowers in batches. Never deep fry too much at the same time. When you put something into hot oil, the temperature of the oil drops a bit. If you put too much into the oil at one time, the temperature will drop too far, and the result will be greasy instead of being crispy.

Once fried, drain the flowers briefly on kitchen paper then serve.


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