One of the best parts about the Courgette is the beautiful orange flower that grows with it. So often its discarded of and you would very rarely find them in the supermarket. So if you are lucky enough to grow your own, or find some along your travels, take advantage and use them as they are an absolute delight to cook and look impressive.
Serves 2 as a starter or a side dish
Courgettes – 2
Courgette flowers – 4
Soft Goats cheese – 2 tablespoons
Cream cheese – 2 tablespoons
Parmesan – 1 tablespoon
Chives or other fresh herbs – 1 teaspoon
Salt and Pepper to season
Cornflour – 50g
Self-Raising flour – 100g
Sparkling water – approximately 175ml
Sunflower oil/ olive oil for frying
Salad leaves or Nasturtium flower to garnish
The courgettes – If you have a griddle pan then use this, failing that you can use a normal non-stick frying pan. Thinly slice the courgettes length ways and season with salt and pepper. Heat a little olive oil in the pan and lay the courgettes flat into the pan and fry until cooked on both sides. You want to get the nice charred lines across if you are using a griddle pan. Set these aside or keep them warm in a low temperature oven whilst you cook the flowers.
The flowers – In a bowl mix together the two cheeses until they are creamy and soft, add the grated parmesan. You can add a touch of water or cream if it is too stiff. Season the mix and add the chives. Wash the flowers well to remove any bugs and remove the centre right inside the flowers and dry them. If you have a piping bag then use this to pipe the mix into the flowers, if not carefully spoon it inside. Close the petals around the mixture and dip the whole thing into cornflour, shaking off the excess.
To make the batter, add the sparking water to the self-raising flour and whisk. Add enough water to form the same consistency as single cream. Season the mix. In a deep frying pan, add enough oil to reach around 3 cm depth. Heat the oil and it should sizzle when you add the flowers. Dip the flowers that are already coated in cornflour into the batter and let the excess drip off, then place these into the oil and repeat with the other flowers. You want to fry them for a few minutes until they are light golden all over, you may have to gently turn them but be careful not to squeeze them or push them too hard otherwise the mix will come out of the centre.
Arrange the courgettes onto a plate and place the flowers on top. Garnish with some salad leaves or nasturtium flower as I have if you have one.