For years I've read about this seasonal goodie, the edible flower of the summer squash which we know as courgette (or zucchini, depending on where you're from). It's a vegetable which takes over supermarket shelves in late summer, but sadly the blossoms rarely come attached to their counterpart. For the first time in, well, ever, I found some at a farm shop last weekend. My initial reaction was to greedily purchase the entire basket, but I settled with a mere half dozen.
I should have gone with the whole basket.
What to do? Make stuffed courgette flowers? Yes. Deep fried in beer batter? Most definitely.
For the beer batter I used a moderately light lager, Becks if I remember correctly. I'd stick with light, even so much as something like Corona. If you don't consume alcohol, try soda water instead.
And yes, I realise Daiya cheese isn't available here in the UK. I hoard it like my mother hoards cereal on sale (sorry mom, it was the best analogy I could think of), using it sparingly for a treat (I go to the US a couple of times a year). Try any melty vegan cheese here, a cheddar or mozzarella style preferably, and it'll be good.
Beer Battered Stuffed Courgette Flowers Recipe
- Heat at least an inch of oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan or wok. Aim for a medium heat, hot enough for a drop of batter to sizzle and turn golden in a minute or two.
- Very gently open the courgette flowers and rinse them out to remove any grit inside. Break off the pistils/stamen carefully.
- In one bowl mix the beer and the flour to make a thin batter (about the thickness of cream, give or take a few degrees of density). In another bowl mix all of the other ingredients well.
- Carefully put about 1 heaped tsp (or, you know, whatever the mix is divided by 6) into the center of each of the zucchini blossoms. My preference is to use my fingers over a spoon so I can push the mix deep into the flower. Twist the top of the blossom to seal (the world won't end if it's not perfectly sealed).
- Lightly drag each flower through the batter, coating all external surfaces, and place a few at a time into the hot oil (don't over crowd). Fry for a minute or two, turned over if necessary to fry both sides.
- Allow the fat to drain off as much as possible when you remove the courgette flowers from the oil, and place on a tempura rack or paper towels while you fry the remaining blossoms.
- Serve hot, with a wedge of lemon.