Saturday, July 08, 2006

Courgette Flowers

Courgette flowers are not easy to find so even though I paid a small fortune for them I decided that it would be worth every penny - or so I hoped.These are from Holland. I bought them from a store at Borough Market in London. They are just so delicate and beautiful!!

Of all the recipes I came across I decided to use one by Australian chef Curtis Stone.

Ingredients

150ml balsamic vinegar
12 courgette flowers, attached to courgettes
groundnut oil, for deep frying

For the stuffing:
250g ricotta cheese
2 basil leaves, shredded
squeeze of lemon juice
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the batter:
100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
120ml fizzy mineral water

Preparation:

1. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and boil for a few minutes until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Set aside.

Mix together the ricotta, shredded basil leaves, lemon juice and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Trim the courgette flowers from the courgettes and shake free of any insects. Slice the courgettes in half lengthways and set aside. Carefully open the flowers and filll them with the ricotta mix. Be gentle as they are very delicate. I ended up using my fingers as even the smalles spoon i had - a tiny coffee spoon from home, proved not to be the best tool.Perhaps experience makes it better. Twist the end of the flower to keep the stuffing in place. To make the batter pour the water into a shallow dish and gradually whisk the flour through a sieve, making sure there are no lumps. The batter should have the consistency of thick pouring cream.

Pour enough oil into a high-sided frying pan to come to a level of about 3cm. Heat until very hot but not smoking. Roll the stuffed flowers and courgette halves in flour. Working in small batches, quickly dip them in the batter, swirling to coat, and then into the pan. Deep-fry for 1-2 minutes until the batter is crisp and golden. Put them on a dish lined with kitchen towel to drain the excess fat - if any. Place in a warm serving dish, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.

I also used some of them to prepare some halibut I had in the fridge.It is a very simple and quick dish. If you cannot find the flowers it is ok to use very finely cut courgette strips.

halibut or sea bass

courgette flowers

olive oil to drizzle

sal and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oven - 200oC. Line a baking dish with greaseproof paper and set aside.

Cut the fish in small pieces, put salt and pepper, and roll each one of them with strips of courgette flowers. You might need to use a tooth pick to keep the strips well attached to the fish. Put the pieces on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for aproximately 5 minutes. Let them reset for a couple of minutes before serving.

Click here if you wish to read the post in Portuguese.

15 comments:

bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

Lucky you to cook zucchini flowers! Miam!

valentina said...

Béa, I couldn't believe my luck when I came across them.Now I hope to be equally lucky next year again.

Tanna said...

Beautiful. Can't believe you found them. Lucky you.

Fran said...

What beauties! Lovely post.

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Hmmm...this is a beautiful dish, I'll try it SOON! Un abrazo,
M

paz said...

Delicious! Courgette flowers are not easy to find in my neck of the woods, too.

Paz

paz said...

p.s. Congratulations on your new blog, Nos Quatro. Also, I love Tapioca.
I need to learn to read Portuguese. ;-)

Paz

J said...

hi valentina, what exquisite zucchini flowers! we hardly ever see them here in singapore, so your gorgeous post makes me very envious ;)

obachan said...

Oh, this looks soooooo good! I've heard that courgette flowers are quite delicious, but have never tried them yet. I only saw them in the photos of the meals at some hotel restaurant.

Astrid said...

I've always been intrigued but never tasted a courgette flower.

In your post you said: "I decided that it would be worth every penny - or so I hoped" So what did you decide? Are they indeed worth every penny? Did they taste yummy?

Thanks for sharing these inspiring recipes and photos.

valentina said...

Tana, i was about to give up looking for them. I'm glad I didn't.
Fran, thank you. It took me a while to eat them as I kept staring at the flowers.

Melissa, you MUST. They are so delicate. some friends told me that sometimes they would just throw them in salads but at £1 per head I thought that I had to do something extra.

Paz,I have looked for a long time. Keep looking.I will be adding a new post to tapioca.Baked a typical Brazilian cake yesterday.

J, I wish I could post a couple to you. I am sure you would come up with something divine.

Obachan, the rumours were true. It is feast to the eye and palate.

Astrid, it as definitely worth every 'pound'. I will save up for next year.

keiko said...

Hi Valentina, these flowers are really beautiful, and the recipe sounds absolutely delicious too! I was thinking about getting his book (cooking with-), have you got it?

Rosita said...

Hello, I am not sure if this post is appropriate, but I grow these courgette flowers organicly in my garden. We do eat a lot of them, but also have quite few that go to waste every day. I would be happy to sell them if anyone is interested. I could post them the same morning they have been picked. Just to add, they are delicious and sometimes my daughter will have a bowl full of them for dinner.

Rosita said...

Since my last comment I quickly created a website where you can buy these delicacies: http://courgetteflowers.weebly.com/about-us.html
Enjoy!
P.S. we had them stuffed last night... oh my GOD! They were out of this world. Will be posting a recipe and pictures soon.

Adi said...

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