Stuffed courgette flowers

Stuffed courgette flowers

Fiori di zucca ripieni

By
From
The Amalfi Coast
Serves
4
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

For every courgette (zucchini) grown there are two flowers present on the plant: a male flower on the stalk and a female flower attached to the courgette. The male flowers have long, spiky stalks, which makes for easier dipping into the batter and hot oil, but when the courgettes are young they too can be fried along with the female flowers. Cut the courgettes almost in half, but not right through from the base to the tip to allow the heat of the oil to penetrate. I like to serve this dish with a little tomato sauce on the side. Otherwise, some diced fresh tomato is good, or a light salad of grated vegetables and a drizzle of bright green basil oil.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8 courgette (zucchini) flowers
sunflower or olive oil, for frying

For the batter

Quantity Ingredient
100g plain flour
200ml beer, (or sparkling water if you prefer)
75-100ml sparkling water
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the stuffing

Quantity Ingredient
100g fresh ricotta
50g smoked cheese, such as provola cheese or smoked cheddar, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve/garnish

Quantity Ingredient
Summer tomato sauce with paccheri
or ripe tomatoes, diced
few basil leaves, to garnish
basil oil, to drizzleŽ

Method

  1. To prepare the flowers, pinch out the bitter stamens with your fingertips, trying not to break the flower and check for any bugs inside.
  2. To make the batter, beat the flour with the beer (or sparkling water) in a bowl using a whisk or electric mixer to make a thick paste before diluting it with the sparkling water to the consistency of single cream. Add the salt. If any lumps remain, sieve the mixture before dipping in the flowers.
  3. Heat the oil to 180°C in a deep-fat fryer or high- sided frying pan, or until a small piece of bread dropped into the oil quickly turns golden and bubbles.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl. Season to taste, but o‹ften the smoked cheese is salty enough.
  5. Use a piping bag or teaspoon to fill the flowers with the stuffing, then twist the flowers at the top to close them.
  6. Stir the batter (do this before each dip to keep the batter at the right consistency). Dip a couple of flowers into the batter and fry for about 3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove with tongs, drain on kitchen paper and keep warm. Continue dipping and frying in batches until you have finished. Serve with a dusting of sea salt and either a tomato sauce or a light tomato salad. Garnish with basil leaves and drizzle with basil oil.
Tags:
The AmalfiCoast
Giancarlo
Katie
Caldesi
Amalfi
Italy
Italian
Mediterranean
European
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