Courgette flowers are beautiful and intricate little things that for me have usually been a rare delight to sample in restaurants, not really an ingredient one usually is able to get their hands on for home cooking.
A very memorable courgette flower dining experience was no doubt Barrafina's take - the flower delicately stuffed with goats cheese and drizzled with honey, not only looking pretty stunning but tasting it too.
I had always been keen to cook with courgette flowers at home, based on their pretty looks on the plate alone, but until last weekend hadn't ever spotted them at any supermarket or greengrocers.
Well, lucky then that the pandemic has transformed me into somewhat of a market lover and of late I have made it into a habit to head down to Borough Market early on a Saturday morning for some weekend ingredient shopping.
Whilst spending about £20 on white asparagus, I spotted, individually wrapped to be extra extra, some very pretty courgette flowers at Turnips, not cheap at £3 a pop but also a real centre piece of a main course that will still cost you a lot less than a piece of Wagyu beef.
I grabbed myself two and searched the world wide web for a fabulous recipe to use them as part of and couldn't help but fall this fresh and flavourful risotto in which the flowers are tempura battered and deep fried to achieve a wonderful end result.
A main course to wow a crowd!
- 50g Butter
- 300g Risotto Rice
- 100g petit pois
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 200g broad beans
- 300g asparagus, sliced
- 1 shallot, peeled and diced
- 1 clove of garlic chopped
- 500ml veg stock
- 50g mascarpone
- 100ml white wine
- 25g Parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated
- 4 courgette flowers
- 2 egg whites
- 25g cornflour
- A splash of water
- 500ml vegetable oil
- Place a pan over a medium heat and add the butter.
- When the butter has melted add the garlic, shallot, rice, stir and cook for a couple of minutes so the ingredients are coated in butter, then add the wine and ¾ of the stock.
- Bring this to the boil and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes until it thickens a little while stirring continuously, adding more stock if needed.
- To finish the risotto, add the peas, broad beans, asparagus, mascarpone and Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), adding more stock if the risotto gets too thick
- For the deep-fried courgette flowers, heat the oil in a saucepan, checking if it's hot enough by dropping a little batter into the pan. If it fizzes the oil is hot enough.
- Mix the egg, flour and water together to form a batter.
- Dip the flowers into the batter and deep fry for about a minute then drain.
- To serve your spring risotto with Deep-Fried Courgette Flowers spoon the risotto into bowls top with the deep-fried courgette flowers and ENJOY!