This recipe is a quintessential Italian dish, making great use of fried courgette flowers for a visually impressive meal that also serves as one of your five-a-day. For those of you who grow your own courgettes, you’ll notice that there’s always be a steady supply of flowers throughout the summer. While there may not be enough courgette flowers for a large party there’s enough to treat a select few friends – and this recipe also makes great use of leftover egg whites too.
Riffing off this recipe, you can also deep fry other vegetables for added colour and variety. Aubergines make a great accompaniment to courgettes, but you can also use peppers and asparagus.
If you’re after something a bit more interesting, flavour-wise, you cam also try addinga small strip of anchovy in the middle of the flower.
- 50g plain flour
- 2 tsps olive oil
- 75ml-100ml warm water
- 3 egg whites
- salt and pepper
- 8-12 courgette flowers
- wedges of lemon to taste
- 1-2 litres sunflower or rapeseed oil
- Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the olive oil, salt and warm water.
- Forming a paste, slowly stir in the flour from the edges. You should get a thick, creamy consistency.
- Rest the mixture for a minimum of 10 minutes but no more than a few hours.
- Ensuring both the bowl and the whisk are clean and dry, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Then fold them gently into the flour paste.
- Check the courgette flowers are free of pests and otherwise clean. You can wipe them with kitchen roll if needed.
- Trim the stem of the flower to about 2 cm.
- Using a deep-sided frying pan, heat your oil but don’t let it start to smoke. You’ll need to get the fat to about 180C/360F. You can tell when it’s at the right temperature by dropping in a piece of bread. If it’s hot enough, the bread will fizzle vigorously and turn golden brown.
- Gently coat the flowers by dipping them in the batter mix, and then fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Once each flower is cooked, you can place it on absorbent paper to rest for a few seconds. This will soak up most of the excess fat and allow you to quickly season the flowers with the lemon, salt and pepper.
- Serve with chilled white wine or prosecco.
Recipe courtesy of Stirred.