Courgette flowers are a wonderful summer vegetable which, when cooked correctly, make a deliciously fresh seasonal dish.
Belonging to the squash family, courgette flowers can be a tricky vegetable to get your hands on. To guarantee courgette flowers I’d recommend growing your own, but you could get lucky whilst shopping at your local farmer’s market throughout the summer months.
Here at A Rule of Tum we source our courgette flowers from Carey Organics. Based on their farm in the heart of Herefordshire, Seb has been supplying us with fresh organic produce since we started out.
My favourite way to enjoy courgette flowers is by stuffing them with goat’s cheese curd. I love using Neal’s Yard Creamery in Dorstone - their ranges of cheese, yoghurt and crème fraîche is next level.
The stuffed courgette flower recipe that Chef Liam has prepared below is simple, light, and of course delicious with a chilled glass of white wine!
WINE PAIRING BY NOBLE & WILD
This dish is bursting with summer flavours, so you really want a wine that can stand up to it, without overpowering. Something crisp and zesty...
Clip, Loureiro 2012, DO Monte de Vaia, Vinho Verde, Portugal £10.45
A superb example of Vinho Verde, made from the local Loureiro grape variety up in Portugal's cool, verdant North-West. This wine is packed with bright citrus fruits and peachy aromas. The finish is long and dry with a touch of minerality, thanks to the granitic soils. And at only 11% alc this is perfect summer wine.
Noble & Wild, 3 The Mews, St Owen’s Street, Hereford, HR1 2JB
WHAT YOU'LL NEED...
FLOWERS (serves 4)
• 8 Courgette Flowers (with small courgette attached)
• 200g Goat’s Cheese Curd
• ½ Bunch Mint Finely Chopped
• 50ml Double Cream
• Black Pepper
• 100g Plain Flour
• 40g Cornflour
• ½ tsp Baking Powder
• ½ tsp Sea Salt
• 200–225ml Ice-cold Sparkling Mineral Water to finish
• Flaky Sea Salt
• 2 Shallots Finely Chopped
• 4 Cloves Garlic Finely Sliced
• 100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus extra for dressing)
• 2 Tomatoes (skinned, deseeded and diced)
• 150g Broad Beans Double Podded
• 100g Fresh Peas
• 100g Rainbow Chard
• 50ml Sherry Vinegar (plus extra for dressing)
• Salt & Pepper (to taste)
• 1 Head Chicory Leaves (separated)
• 1 Bunch Radish Finely Sliced
Set deep fat fryer to 170c
First stuff the flowers, combine the goats curd, mint and double cream and season to taste. Place into a piping bag with a medium nozzle. Carefully open up each flower and stuff with the cheese mix: you should get 2–4 teaspoons in each one, depending on size. Twist the petals gently to enclose the mixture, like a sealed pillow. Place onto a tray with others and refrigerate.
Make the batter by placing all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, blitz with a stick blender and pass through a sieve. Rest in fridge
In a large based fry pan, place the oil, shallots and garlic on a very low heat and gently warm through until the onions and garlic are soft, but not coloured. Add the rainbow chard at this point and cook down until slightly wilted about 1 ½ minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the broad beans, peas, tomatoes and sherry vinegar. Adjust seasoning and vinegar to taste.
In a separate bowl, dress the chicory and radish with a little olive oil and sherry vinegar.
Dip one stuffed courgette flower into the batter and immediately lower into the hot oil. Repeat with a couple more; do not cook more than 3 or 4 at a time. Cook for 1–2 minutes, until puffed up, crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, with a good pinch of sea salt, while you cook the remaining flowers.
To plate, place the chicory mix as a bed on the plate, scatter over the fresh pea and tomato mix with the dressing over and place the courgette flowers on top.