Part of the menu from our English Wine Summer Feast at the Princess Royal with Virgina Coates from Cotes & Seely. The genius behind them lies in the simplicity but with the perfect combination of sweet and salty, hot and crisp. Courgette flowers are in season in the UK from early summer and there’s plenty around, so this is an ideal for summer dinner party. It’s important you get a semi firm goats cheese. This will ensure that the cheese only partially melts when deep-fried.
12 courgette flowers stalks in tact
120g ricotta divided into 12 rough balls
Runny blossom honey for drizzling
2 litres of vegetable oil for frying
For the batter
150g plain flour (sifted)
2 tsp baking powder
450ml sparkling water
Firstly make the batter. Tip the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Whisk in the water and ensure everything is incorporated well. Leave to rest.
Pour the vegetable oil into a deep-sided pan or deep fat fryer. Slowly heat up to 180oc or when a little bit of the batter is dropped in and it fizzles and browns immediately. Keep the oil at a steady temperature.
Carefully peel down the petals of the flowers and remove the stamen. This can be bitter.
Mould a piece of cheese and then stuff it into the flower and twist the leaves back up to form a tight seal. Be careful with the petals they are very delicate and will tear easily. Cut a small slit in the bottom of the courgette stalks. This will help speed up the cooking process of the courgette in the fryer.
Carefully dip the flowers, in batches-two or three at a time- into the batter and then place in the fryer. Cook the flowers until they are golden brown on both sides. You will need to turn the flowers during this process to cook both sides. When ready, remove the flowers from the oil and drain well and keep warm. Continue cooking the other flowers in the same fashion. When the flowers are all ready and drained of excess oil, transfer to serving plates and drizzle with honey.