4 courgette flowers
4 tbsp ricotta
Handful of chives
For the beer batter
330cl light beer
8-9 tbsps flour
1 med egg
Salt & pepper to season
Light rapeseed oil for frying
4 sml globe courgettes
250ml chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tbsp sugar
1 sml garlic
Salt & pepper to season
To get a baring on timing; the tomato sauce and the globe courgettes will take roughly 30 minutes and then the courgette flowers will be done right at the end once the oil is up to temperature.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Blend or pulverise the tinned chopped tomatoes and add to a small saucepan on a medium heat. Also add the garlic by mincing, nutmeg, sugar and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Continue to heat, stirring regularly for 30 minutes.
Place the globe courgettes in the oven on an oven proof tray, with a little drizzle of oil, roasting for 30 minutes.
Prepare the flowers by carefully removing the stamen from within the petals. It should just snap off with a little pressure from your finger and then can be shaken out.
To stuff courgette flowers, into a small bowl add the ricotta and finely chopped chives, mix well. Transfer the ricotta to a small piping bag and carefully pipe into the flowers heads, filling the cavity.
To make the batter, pour the beer into a bowl, sieve in the flour whisking as you go. Lastly add the egg and season with salt and pepper. Unlike some batters, I prefer to have quite a runny mixture, similar to a runny pancake mix. It should just coat you finger when dipped, giving a thin crunchy coating for the flowers.
To fry the courgette flowers, take a small deep frying pan and fill it with 3/4 inch deep with oil. Preheat the oil on a medium to high heat. Test the oils temperature by dropping a drop of batter in; if it fluffs up and sizzles it is ready to fry, reduce the heat slightly if it does so too violently.
Dip the flowers in the batter and transfer to the oil, placing gently. They will need roughly 1 minute and then a further 45 second when turned. Remove from the oil, placing on kitchen towel to soak up the access oil.
Serve the flowers with the sauce and the roasted globe courgettes and eat immediately.
There are two things that every summer I find very difficult to find in markets, that in my grandmothers garden was alway in abundance; these are courgette flowers and gooseberries. Both delicious but sadly neither in high demand from the public. It may just be my luck? One day when I have the time and space I hope to have a humungous vegetable garden, full or seasonal produce; never having to rely on the availability in markets, with only the weather and my input to govern its bounty.
These little flowers are very moorish when stuffed and fried with this light batter. I have made them as a light starter but can easily make a big batch to serve on a sharing board with the sauce in a bowl to dip in.