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Vegetarian & Vegan
A fabulous easy lunch or starter
The courgettes on my allotment and in pots at home have taken ages to get going this year but now they are in full flow, and this is a great way to use up the male flowers that don’t bear fruit.
The crispy batter is light and tasty, and contrasts beautifully with the creamy, minty filling. The whole thing is then set off by a chilli sauce to dip into and a side of tomato salsa with a little chopped chilli (you can leave out all of the chilli if you prefer, but a little heat does really add something to the finished dish).
Because filling and frying the flowers a tiny bit fiddly and you need to work fast, I wouldn’t serve these to a big group of people - a lunch for two or starter for 4 is ideal.
Use the batter recipe for all sorts of other veg in season too - it’s really versatile.
Serves 4 as a starter, or 2 as a main course
Mix all the filling ingredients together and season well.
To make the batter, stir the flours together in a large jug and season well. Slowly pour in the beer, whisking with a hand whisk all the time until there are no lumps.
Gently fill each flower with a level tbsp of the feta mixture and twist the ends of the petals together to help seal it in.
Heat a wide, shallow pan with enough oil to fill it to about 1 cm deep. When the oil is really hot, dip a filled flower into the batter and allow the excess to drain off - you just want a light coating. Repeat with the remaining flowers.
Lower into the oil, one at a time, and leave (without moving them around), for 4 mins. By that time, the batter will be crispy and you'll easily be able to turn the flowers over with tongs. Cook for around 4 mins, turning one or twice so that all sides are nicely browned.
Meanwhile, mix together the tomato salsa ingredients.
Drain the flowers briefly on kitchen paper and serve with chilli sauce, the tomato salsa and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over. Garnish with parsley.
Give the flowers a good shake before using them, to tip out any tiny insects inside