Courgettes, or baby marrows, belong to the summer squash family. They are easy and rewarding to grow. The flowers, which bloom from late summer to early autumn, can be used fresh in salads or stuffed and deep-fried
Stuffed courgette flowers
- 150g cake flour, sifted
- 1 egg, separated
- 80ml ( cup) white wine
- 30ml (2T) Hamilton Russell Vineyards Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- 16 courgette flowers
- 80g pine nuts
- 500g cream cheese
- 125ml (½ cup) sparkling water, at room temperature
- 250ml (1 cup) olive or canola oil, for frying
Make a batter by mixing the flour, egg yolk, wine and olive oil together in a bowl. Set aside for about 30 minutes to rest.
While the batter is resting, trim the flowers, carefully cutting out the stamens. Rinse under cold water and set aside to dry.
Gently crush the pine nuts in a pestle and mortar, retaining some texture. Fold the pine nuts into the cream cheese.
Fill each flower with the cheese mixture and carefully twist the petals closed at the top.
When you are ready to fry the flowers, whisk the egg white to stiff peaks.
Add the sparkling water to the batter and whisk until smooth and runny.
Gently fold the egg white into the batter.
Heat the olive or canola oil in a small pan.
Dip each flower in the batter, ensuring it is well coated. Fry in batches, turning, until the batter becomes crisp and turns light gold (this will initially take about 3 minutes per side, but takes less time as the oil gets hotter). Drain the finished flowers on paper towel.
It is important to remove the stamens and stems as these are rather bitter. When dipping the flowers in the batter, hold them over the batter for a couple of seconds to allow the excess to drip off. Instead of courgette flowers, deep-fry courgette ribbons, and serve the cream cheese stuffing on the side. If you pick the courgette flowers from your garden, make sure the plants have not been recently sprayed with any chemicals.