I can only apologise for more courgettes. But such is my life at the moment. This recipe, however, focuses on the flowers. As abundant as their fruit at this time of year, courgette and pumpkin flowers are all over my allotment. Thanks to an industrious squirrel burying pumpkin seeds all over my garden during the spring, they have also randomly appeared in a selection of borders and pots over here too. Waste not, want not; they are delicious in a risotto with sliced baby courgettes and, of course, stuffed, battered and deep-fried.
The stuffing used is simple; Farleigh Wallop, a goat’s cheese with a delicate dusting of thyme is perfect. Bite through the crisp of the batter to an oozy, gooey middle of melted cheese mingling with the flower petals. You can use the male flowers (the ones on a stalk that don’t grow into fruits), or the female flowers, especially if they have a baby courgette attached, as in the photo above. With the leftover batter, slice some of the mature courgettes up and batter and fry them too, for irresistible courgette fries (I can declare them irresistible as even my veg-detesting five year old will nibble on these).
The recipe is quick and simple. Apologies for the lack of photos but you have to work fast and my fingers were permanently covered with batter and grease!
1 egg, lightly whisked
225ml sparkling water
70g plain flour
100g Farleigh Wallop goat’s cheese, chopped into chunks
Vegetable oil, for frying
10 courgette flowers, male or female
2 courgettes, chopped into thick chunks or rounds
First, give the flowers a quick check for dust and all the bugs which like to hide inside. Pour the oil into a pan to a depth of three to four inches and heat up. Meanwhile, make the batter; whisk the egg and water together and then slowly add the flours, continuing to whisk. Don’t over-mix it; it doesn’t matter if it’s a bit lumpy.
Gently open the flower petals and insert goat’s cheese inside, as much as will comfortably go, without straining or tearing the petals. Twist the ends of the petal together to seal.
The oil will be hot enough when a cube of bread turns brown and crispy within about ten seconds. Take one of the stuffed flowers, dip it into the batter and then carefully lower it into the oil. Repeat with other flowers without over-crowding the pan and turn the flowers after about 30 seconds. It will take only a minute or so for the flowers to cook; remove them from the pan when they are puffed up and golden. Drain on kitchen paper and eat soon after; they are best hot, although beware the scalding cheese inside.
Disclosure: I was sent Farleigh Wallop by Pong Cheese for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.