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Zucchini Ripieni (Stuffed Courgette Flowers)

Stuffed courgette flowers are a real treat. Easy to make and very impressive with guests (or scarf the whole lot yourself)

If you or someone you know grow your own courgettes, one thing you won't be short of is courgettes! They grow a storm. This is one of a couple of courgette recipes I'll be posting. You can use either male or female flowers; just keep an eye on your crop: female flowers will produce courgettes. The stuffings I've used are changeable to suit your tastes. I also remove the stamen and pistil in the video, but you cane leave them as they are edible - and tasty! I just removed them to show how to do it.


One thing I will say is to use the flowers soon after picking them: they don't last long.

INGREDIENTS

courgette flowers

Stuffing*

ventricina

prosciutto

mozzarella

ricotta

parmesan

nutmeg

pepper

Batter

egg

plain flour

fizzy water

* make any stuffing you want! You don't need a lot: maybe a tablespoon or even a teaspoon for each flower

Watch the video


METHOD

  • Gently run the flowers under cold water

  • Place the on a tea towel and gently pat them dry

Stuffing 1

  • Mix the ricotta with some grated parmesan

  • Add some nutmeg and mix it all together into a ball of paste

  • Lay out the prosciutto and spoon the mix along it

  • Roll it up into a small, meaty tube

Stuffing 2

  • Cut a small cube of mozzarella and roll it up in the ventricina

  • cut the edges to tidy it up

And now...

  • Gently pull back the petals of the flower and place the tube inside

  • Ease the petals forward again and set aside

  • Mix the flour, egg and fizzy water

  • You want a thick batter that clings to the whisk

  • Don't be afraid to adjust as you go: more flour if it's too thin; more water if it's too thick

  • Add pepper and garlic salt to the batter

  • You could add cayenne or thyme - go mad!

  • Heat some olive oil in a medium hot frying pan - some folk deep fry the flowers, my mum and my gran never did - so I don't! I much prefer cooking each side - hence the thick batter.

  • Turn the flowers after about 5 minutes. Keep a leery eye on the first couple to make sure the oil is the right temperature. Too hot and you'll burn the batter without cooking the inside; too cold and you'll get a sodden flower - and nobody wants a sodden flower...

  • I turn them back on the first side for another minute or two, just to get a lovely golden colour, but play it by eye (?)

  • Turn them onto paper of kitchen cloths to drain the oil, and salt them while they're draining

#courgette #courgettes #dinnertime #dinner #starters #canapes #snacks #courgetteflowers #zucchini #italian

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