Take some flowers, stuff ’em full of cheese

9 Aug

I’ve been dreaming of piping some minty ricotta into some courgette flowers for a long time. Like, years.

courgette flowers, a rare find in Amsterdam.

The problem is that our local markets, even the expensive organic one around the corner, never seem to have them. I asked a few stalls and they mumbled something about ‘yeah, sometimes’, but didn’t offer me more than that. So every Saturday, I’d hunt around looking for those gorgeous, sunshine yellow petals. Nothing.

So, I decided to grow a courgette plant on my balcony. Problem with that is I never have more than one or two flowers opening at a time.

And if I’m going to stuff them, I’m going to stuff 10 of them. Not two.

BUT THIS SATURDAY WAS DIFFERENT.

This Saturday, we were ambling along when BOI-OI-OI-OING, a flash of yellow caught my eye and I’m pretty sure I squealed with glee.

Okay, so I squealed with glee and probably did a little clappy, happy dance too.

We bought 10 for about EUR 7. Each flower, as I’d expect, had a perfectly sized courgette still attached to it. Liz bought four, and I bought six. Her and Colin came over the following night for dinner.

So, six of the flowers were in the fridge, and the ones Liz and Colin had were out of the fridge. Advice – keep them in the fridge.

It was a very delicate operation cutting the stamen out of the flowers. Definitely a two-person job. I peeled open the paper-thin petals (that had now closed together) while Liz cut out the stamen with my little, gold sewing scissors.

Next, I filled a piping bag with a mixture of ricotta, lemon zest, nutmeg, mint, chopped chilli, and salt and pepper. The recipe said to use a spoon…I can’t imagine how difficult that would be.

Use the piping bag.

pre-cook

After they were all twisted up, they were dipped in a tempura-like batter (250g self-raising flour + 350ml white wine), except, I had used the last remnants of all the flour I had baking a vegan courgette pecan cake, so I had to use 100g corn flour in a pinch. It seemed to work fine.

Carefully place in safflower oil (180 degrees), a maximum of three flowers at a time, and fry a few minutes until golden. Sprinkle with salt (I use Maldon’s Sea Salt, the only salt worth using in my opinion), a squeeze of lemon, and freshly chopped mint.

Eat.

Dream dish. Achieved.

Recipe is from Jamie at Home, which is a fantastic cook book.

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3 Responses to “Take some flowers, stuff ’em full of cheese”

  1. rizie August 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    lady..those look sooooo good!

  2. Sy August 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Hello, could you tell me where did you find them? I have the same problem in finding courgette flowers!

    • amansterdam August 31, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

      When they are in season in laye spring/summer, you can get them at the organic market on Saturdays in the Jordaan (in front of the Noorderkerk). Otherwise at the catering wholesale stores like Kweker (but you have to have a membership).

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