Stuffed Courgette Blossoms

As promised – to myself and to my blog – this is the year I would stuff courgette blossoms, batter them, fry them and eat them. Last weekend looked like a day we had enough to justify the energy required to heat the oil.  There are blossoms attached to courgettes that seem to last only until evening once they’ve reached their peak – in size, openness and glamour.  Then there are those attached to a narrow stalk – these weren’t as easy to separate and stuff as the very fresh blossoms attached to the vegetable.  It’s important, then, to strike while the iron is roasting and make the most of these delights quickly.

Courgette Plant Flowering

I looked to a recipe in Dennis Cotter’s fabulous vegetarian cookbook – The Cafe Paradiso Cookbook – where I knew he had set about the same task.  It was mainly method I was looking for, as I had a different set of ingredients for the stuffing.

My stuffing was:

1 small red onion

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic

4 tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped – parsley & chives

30g parmesan cheese, finely grated

1 – 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese

pinch each of nutmeg & cayenne pepper

salt/freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil and sweat the onion gently for 5 minutes without allowing to brown.  Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients, check seasoning and set aside until ready to stuff.

I picked the courgettes at this point and brought them to the kitchen.  I’m not sure if the blossoms are generally left attached to the courgette but I did this with half of them as I saw it in the cookbook and it looked nice.

Method for stuffing them is quite delicate and I was glad to have an extra pair of hands in my husband around!  Very gently, open the flower without tearing the sides all the way down.  With one finger down in the blossom, break off the stamen and remove it.  Next, with the help of a small spoon and narrow butter knife, stuff each blossom with 1-2 tsp of stuffing.  Twist the top gently to seal in the stuffing and set aside to batter.

The batter I used was from this cookbook, but I imagine you could use any similar consistency batter:

200g plain flour

salt

1 egg yolk

300ml water

Each stuffed courgette blossom is dipped in the batter and deep fried in hot oil (at 180°C).

Deep frying courgette blossoms

Serve immediately with something tasty to dip into – I had fresh basil pesto, it was yum!

Stuffed Courgette Blossoms

Stuffed Courgette Blossoms with Courgette Attached

So how did they taste?  Amazing!  The stuffing itself is quite tasty of course – but there is also huge mouth enjoyment in the tip of the flower.  The texture was great and it had lovely delicate flavour.  A much more interesting way to eat the blossom instead of tearing into a salad, for example.  With or without the vegetable attached?  The courgette tended to be a bit soggy deep fried like this so I would much prefer to see this as a crunchy addition to my salad.    I can see why people go to the trouble, but take my hat off to anyone serving these in a restaurant situation as they are quite fiddly to make.  Maybe someone knows an easier way?

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