Dish of the Day: The Reluctant Vegetarian’s recipe for Crunchy Stuffed Courgette Flowers with Basil Tomato Salad and Edible Flowers
Although I’m not a huge fan of edible flowers, I couldn’t help myself when seeing there was an entire market stall now dedicated to selling them. Despite not being the cheapest or most satisfying of edible additions they are pretty pleasing to the eye and if you’re wanting to impress then they definitely work in your favour.
The courgette flower, on the other hand, is in a whole different league and once stuffed, battered, and deep fried you can’t deny that this is a really tasty dish and worth the effort.
Crunchy Stuffed Courgette Flowers with Basil Tomato Salad and Edible Flowers
Cooking / Preparation Time – 25/30mins
Stuffed Courgette Flowers
6 x Courgette flowers (thoroughly but delicately washed)
250g of Ricotta cheese
1x Tablespoon of tinned or fresh spinach
1 x Handful of chopped watercress
1/3 of a Freshly grated nutmeg
A pinch of salt and black pepper
1/2 x Zest of lemon
6/8 x Tomatoes – Include as many varieties as possible although regular ripe cherry tomatoes are just as good.
1/2 Red onion finely sliced into rings
2 x Garlic cloves – Crushed and finely sliced
1 x Handful of fresh basil leaves – roughly sliced
2 x Glugs of extra virgin olive oil
2 x Glugs of white wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
Optional – An assortment of edible flowers – Pansies and carnations are both edible but always good to double check these things.
75g of cornflour
75g of plain flour
1 x Medium egg – Lightly beaten
180ml (3/4 of a cup) of cold soda water
(Combine and store in the fridge of for the best result use straight away when cold)
Sunflower oil or rapeseed oil for frying.
Combine the ricotta, spinach, nutmeg, lemon zest, salt and pepper and stuff the already washed courgette flowers. Be careful to not over fill and ensure that you can still twist the ends of the flower together to hold in the filling. Leave to set in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Combine all of the batter ingredients using a whisk and ideally use straight away or store in the fridge until ready to use.
Make sure you cover the whole of the flower with the batter and ensure that the oil is hot enough before adding the flowers to the oil. Make sure the oil is deep enough to easily cover the courgette flowers. Add a small amount of batter first to the oil to the test the temperature. It should fizz and float straight to the top when hot enough to cook with. Only cook the flowers for 2/3 minutes max. They can be kept warm in the oven if you’re not serving them straight away.
Tomato and Basil Salad
First combine your assortment of tomatoes. The quality of your produce is what matters here so no big deal if you don’t have the edible flowers or a multi-colour array of tomatoes. Add in the fresh garlic and onion along with the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, basil, salt and pepper and be happy with how simple salad making can be. Garnish with edible flowers (I was momentarily excited by these but by all means they aren’t a must). Basil or parsley work just as well and offer much more flavour.
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