This is not a good week. I have been snowed under with a vast and seemingly unending recipe project, I barely see MCD Jr, my sister bought a fabulous puppy last week which died yesterday and my grandmother appears to be intent on joining it. Poor dog. So what with writing about food all day and mourning the loss of a dog and the absence of my son in the evening, I haven’t been much of a one for the stove.
However, out in the allotment, picking beans not quite as quickly as they are growing, I can’t help but be bowled over by the sunshine yellow of the best courgette flowers we have ever had. It would be a crime not to use them, so I came up with the following as I don’t deep fry (vats of boiling oil would not – I suspect – be my best friend).
Clean and wash very very carefully two courgette flowers (with small courgettes attached for preference). Snip out the stamens and dry on kitchen paper.
Whisk together in a bowl 4 tbsp ricotta, small handful of oregano leaves or chopped basil, a little lemon zest and juice, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.
Gently spoon the mixture into the flowers and press the flowers together to seal.
Make a batter by mixing 100g plain flour with 1-2 glasses of white wine. If it’s still too thick add a little water to make it the consistency of double cream.
Dip the flowers in and make sure they are thoroughly coated.
Heat 1cm depth of vegetable oil in a large frying pan and when hot enough, lower the flowers in. Fry for about three minutes until the underside is crisp and golden, then carefully turn over with the spatula to cook the other side.
Drain on kitchen paper and eat as an appetiser before an appropriately courgette-based main dish such as Jamie’s courgette carbonara from Jamie at Home.
This seems terribly downbeat – sorry. Back with the stiff upper next time.