Deep Fried Courgette Flowers ...stuffed with ricotta

If you ever stumble upon courgette flowers , AQUIRE THEM. 

Okay, you've already taken the first step. 

Begin by heating up at least 1 L of good frying oil (vegetable, sunflower etc.) in a small but deep saucepan. You want at last 5 inches of oil. 

In  mixing bowl, combine  1 cup/one package (depending on how many flowers you have) ricotta, with  citrus zest (lemon, lime orange) 1/4 cup softly grated parm, fresh torn herbs such as mint or basil and salt and pepper. Cover and put the bowl in the fridge. 

Next make the batter. I used a combination of plain flour, cold soda water, baking soda and salt. I played around with the proportions but here's what BBC Food recommends:

  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • pinch salt 
  • 250ml/9fl oz ice cold carbonated water

First add all of the dry ingredients, slowly adding the soda water, whisking until you have a thick but fairly light batter. Put the batter in the fridge and remove the ricotta. 

Carefully fill each flower with small scoops of the ricotta mixture. Be mindful not to overfill. If your flowers have wilted (as mine did) and you're finding it hard to scoop the ricotta into the flowers without tearing them, you can use a sharp knife to make a small incision through the petals. Peel apart and fill with the mixture pressing the petals back together--be sure not to leave any unclosed holes where the ricotta could escape! 

Remove the batter from the fridge and drop a small amount into the oil. If the batter sizzles and floats to the top right away, the oil should be hot enough. 

Gently take each flower and dredge in a bit of dry flour. Dip into the batter, letting the excess batter drip off a bit and then place into the hot oil. You can probably get about 4 frying at the same time. Allow the flowers to fry for 3-4 minutes or until the batter has taken on a golden colour. 

Remove on to some kitchen towel and allow the excess oil to drain away. 

Finish with a small sprinkling of sea salt.