Deepfried Courgette Flowers

Thems are some homegrown courgettes from my parents garden. Cute. This year’s crop is quite small, as are the actual vegetables, or rather fruit themselves. I’ve been using them in salads. Is it weird to like raw courgettes?

I’ve always wanted to try deep-fried courgette flowers. It’s something of a delicacy. The flower makes an excellent host for other fillings, so I’ve decided to stuff the flowers with a lemon ricotta mixture. I found the dish slightly too rich, so I would only allow small portions per person.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Vegetable oil for frying

For the stuffed courgette flowers
  • 225g/8oz ricotta
  • Juice and zest 1 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 courgette flowers
  • plain flour, for dusting
For the batter
  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • pinch salt
  • 250ml/9fl oz ice-cold carbonated water
Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based pan (CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
For the stuffed courgette flowers, mix the ricotta, lemon zest and juice together in a bowl. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Carefully spoon equal amounts of the ricotta mixture into each of the courgette flowers. Be careful not to overfill the flowers or they won’t close.
Gently squeeze the petals of each flower back together to enclose the ricotta mixture. Dredge each stuffed courgette flower in some plain flour.
For the batter, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a clean bowl. Gradually add the water, whisking well to form a batter. Dip the stuffed courgette flowers into the batter and transfer to the hot oil to deep-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve.

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