Goats Cheese, Ricotta and Mixed Herb Stuffed Courgette Flowers

When you can get your hands on fresh small courgettes with their flowers in late spring and in summer, you are in for a treat. The small courgettes need little cooking and the flowers are perfect for stuffing. The flowers are stuffed and then deep fried in a light beer batter but if you prefer you can bake or grill them with a little olive oil..

Wine Recommendation: Our suggestion: try an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc. See The Mixed Case for details.

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Courgettes

  • 12 small courgettes with flowers

Ricotta Stuffing

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 125g soft goats cheese
  • 125g ricotta
  • 2 tbsp parmesan grated
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil, finely chopped
  • pinch paprika
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Batter

  • 200g self raising flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 300ml of ice cold beer
  • oil for deep frying

To Cook

  • 60g rice flour or plain flour

To Serve

  • 2 plum tomatoes, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp basil, shredded
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp toasted pine nuts

Method

  1. Courgettes: Carefully pull back the flowers and cut out the pollen stems. Set the courgettes aside while you prepare the stuffing.
  2. Herb Stuffing: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and vigorously stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it is well combined. Set aside or refrigerate the stuffing until ready to use.
  3. To Stuff the Flowers: Place small spoonfuls of the stuffing into the flowers, pressing the mixture firmly down. Fill each one until they are well filled, twist the top of the flowers to secure in the stuffing. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to cook. This can be done up to a day in advance.
  4. Batter: Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or a deep pan or wok to 180-190° (a small cube of bread will float to the top and be golden after a few seconds). Place the flour in a bowl, make a well in the centre, place the egg yolk in it, and pour the beer in. Beat the batter with a whisk so that you have a smooth batter (this batter must be used immediately).
  5. To Cook: Toss the courgettes gently in the flour and then dip a few of them at a time in the batter. Place the coated courgettes in the preheated oil and deep-fry them for 1-2 minutes, so that they are golden and crisp all over. Remove the courgettes form the oil and drain them on kitchen paper. Place the courgettes in a warm place while you cook the remaining ones.
  6. To Serve: Place the tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and a little salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss them together gently with your hands. Mix them together until well combined. Place 2-3 courgettes in the centre of each plate and spoon around a little of the tomato mixture. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar around each plate and scatter over the pine nuts. If you are serving them as a main accompany the dish with a bowl of rocket. Serve.