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Goats Cheese Stuffed Courgette Flowers

Makes 8-10

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes


These are such a beautiful treat in early summer. They are quite expensive but for me, it's worth it; you can find them at farmers' markets, high-end supermarkets or online. I used to grow them in my vegetable patch but I found the courgette plants took up so much space so I opted for other vegetables this year. This recipe is easy to veganise; just replace the 3 cheeses with 450g vegan cream cheese and the honey with agave or high quality maple syrup.



Ingredient:

4-6 tbsp of mixed herbs (fennel, sage, chives, basil work well)

140g ricotta

250g soft goats cheese

85g dolcelatte

Zest 1.5 lemon

Tsp chilli flakes

1/2 tsp white pepper

Good grating of nutmeg

30g toasted pine nuts

1/2 tsp sugar


330ml sparkling water

4 ice cubes

180g self-raising flour, sifted

2 l veg oil

Runny honey (or maple syrup or agave)

Herb salad, to serve


Method:

  1. Start by prepping the courgette flowers; carefully peel open the petals slightly, but don’t separate them completely as this will make them more difficult to seal up again. To remove the stamen, put your finger at its base and gently push it. It should click off cleanly. Ensure there are no bugs trapped inside the flower before moving on to the next.

  2. To make the filling, finely chop the herbs and add them to a large bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Put this mix into a piping bag and snip around 1cm off the tip. Gently pipe the filling into the courgette flower starting as deep inside as you can put the piping bag and moving up until the flower is ¾ full. Gently squeeze the petals together to seal the cheese inside.

  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a wide sauce pan over a medium heat. Ensure the oil is at least 2 inches below the top of the pan as it will bubble up when frying the flower. Line a large baking dish with a few layers of kitchen roll.

  4. Make a smooth batter by whisking the sparkling water into the flour and adding the ice cubes. You don't need the ice cubes to melt, its just to keep the batter cold. Test the oil is hot; if a small crust of bread crisps in around 30 seconds then it's ready to use. Dip the first flower into the batter and twist to cover. Remove and allow to drip for a couple of seconds and then carefully put it into the hot oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes until the batter crisps and puffs up a bit. Remove with metal tongs and drain on the kitchen roll. Repeat with the rest of the flowers.

  5. Move to a platter, drizzle a few tablespoons of honey (or maple syrup or agave) and serve with a herb salad.



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