Courgette Flower Tempura

14 May

Ok, this is one of those things which only cooks or people with allotments would ever get excited about – most people would not ever give them a second thought, know about them or if they do, care.

 

I first had these stuffed with something fantastic like goose liver parfait (sorry) at the Moulin de Mougins in the South of France around 30 years ago (yikes) and because they just looked so beautiful I have never forgotten them.  Anyhow, the difficult thing with these is that you never see courgettes with the flowers left on in shops because they do wither very quickly.  You need to pick them, carry them home carefully and use them that day.

Courgette Flower Tempura

On Friday, I went to my friend Nevenka’s farm shop in Vera as I often do on Friday mornings.   Opening times are11 am until 2 pm.  It is well worth a visit for gorgeous citrus fruit, particularly limes as she has 400 lime trees!  But also, lovely preserves, chutneys and other condiments. She always has some lovely fresh vegetables too, potatoes, beans and whatever is in season and also loads of gorgeous fresh herbs – all of her vegetables are organic – she often has things which you cannot buy here – last week I had a bag of mange tout – absolutely delicious – and on Friday she had the most beautiful baby courgette with the flowers on.  I had quite a lot to do on Friday as everyone was coming around for the opening of the Friday night outdoor cinema and I was preparing a little supper.  But as said, these beautiful pale flowers come along once in a blue moon and so I took four and thought that I would make a tiny starter for lunch.  I really would have liked them stuffed with crab and crème fraiche and chives, but I thought, get real – just look in the fridge and see what is there.  So when I got home, I pulled out some cream cheese and mixed in some chilli sauce put teaspoons of the mixture into the flowers.  Then I made up some tempura batter – plain flour, a tablespoon of cornflour, a little sea salt and some sparkling water.

Then all you do is drop the stuffed flowers in the batter with a slotted spoon and deep fry in vegetable oil until they turn the palest golden colour.  Because the oil is so hot, everything stays in tact, nothing oozes out and they just look stunning. They need to be drained on kitchen paper and eaten immediately with a little chilli sauce.

 

Mick said they were sensational so I will be popping back to Nevenka’s this week in the hope that there will be a few more for me to steal!

 

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2 Responses to “Courgette Flower Tempura”

  1. DianaX May 14, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    courgette flower are delicious, they use them a lot in mexico (lovely in quesadillas) and the sell them in tins, not the same I know.
    thanks for sharing!

  2. Martyn Thompson May 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    I’ve never tried this and I was only talking about it t’other day! How are you all doing? Still mean to come and visit you one of these trips to Mojacar.

    Best
    Martyn

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