It’ll be a while till courgettes (zucchini) come back into season in Ireland but when they do, this recipe is just perfect to celebrate summer. Having been in Australia for the last month, I had to embrace everything that is summery as, let’s face it, Ireland’s summers aren’t that great. To me, this dish is the epitome of summers out on the veranda, enjoying good food and good company. This dish is light, moreish and perfect as a starter. Serves 4.
- 1/2 large unwaxed lemon; rind finely grated*
- 150g fresh ricotta
- 10 basil leaves, finely chopped
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 10 courgette flowers, baby courgette attached
- ½ cup self-raising flour, plus extra, for dusting
- 1 cup cornflour
- 1¾ cups cold sparkling water
- rapeseed (canola) oil, for frying
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 large unwaxed lemon; rind finely grated
- To prepare the batter, add the self-raising flour, cornflour and water in a large mixing bowl. Using a fork, mix until just combined. Leave to stand for 10 minutes. The mixture will have a few lumps but will settle after resting. Stir the batter again after this time, as the cornflour will sink to the bottom.
- To prepare the stuffing, add the lemon rind, ricotta, basil, parmesan and mustard in a bowl and stir well to combine. Carefully remove the stamen from inside the flowers, if not already prepared. Spoon in 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture into each courgette flower, taking great care not to damage the petals. A piping bag would make it easier, but isn’t essential. Gently twist the petals to enclose.
- Heat rapeseed oil in a large, deep frying pan over high heat until hot. Lightly coat the courgette flowers in the extra flour and then dip into the batter. Add courgettes into the oil, taking care to place them away from you. Cook, in batches, for 3-4 minutes or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
- To prepare the lemon salt, add the salt and lemon rind to a small bowl and rub the ingredients together to combine. Sprinkle the lemon salt over the courgette flowers. Serve and enjoy!
*If you’re not sure if your lemon is unwaxed, just put your lemon in a colander and pour boiling water all over it then rub with either a brush or a tea towel to remove any of the wax.
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