Sometimes in life you need to throw caution into the wind and try something new. A meat free dish is a rarity in my house but I was given some lovely courgette flowers from Rebecca Gerrard, who is a Glasgow based chef/food blogger, so I thought I would knock up this lovely dish.
These are ideal for a starter or if you are trying to be a bit healthier, like me, then this will make a nice light dinner. It takes no time at all and whilst I have used herbs and some borage from my garden, you can use whatever you like, some people even stuff them with sausage meat.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 minutes
6 courgette flowers (courgettes still attached)
400g ricotta cheese
Handful of heritage tomatoes
Handful of wild rocket/mizuna
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh borage, finely chopped(optional)
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 cup water
1 cup flour
Pinch of Sea Salt
Pour 4 inches of vegetable oil into a wok or a deep pan and bring to 180c.
As the oil heats up, chop the tomatoes, shallots then pop them in a bowl. Drizzle with vinegar and oil then sprinkle some sugar on top. Mix together.
Chop the sage, borage, oregano and transfer to a bowl. Spoon the ricotta cheese and pepper then combine with a spoon.
For the batter, whisk the water, flour and a tbsp of olive oil until thick.
Gently remove the stamen from the middle of the flower and gently spoon the ricotta mixture into the middle. Next you want to dip the whole courgette, and flowers, into the beaten egg them dredge them in some flower before dipping them in the batter.
Transfer them to the oil in small batches and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden and crispy. Once cooked, transfer to a cooling rack.
Serve up with the rocket/mizuna salad and the tomato/shallot relish, drizzling some of the dressing over the salad and courgette flowers. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top.