Deep-fried courgette flowers with ricotta, honey and mint
Laura Jackson's deep-fried courgette flowers were a runaway hit at Taste of London last summer, and make for a showstopping dish for leisurely brunches with friends
For the flowers:
- 1 large egg
- 40g plain flour
- 100ml cold sparkling water
- 12 courgette flowers
- 1l sunflower oil, for deep-frying
For the stuffing:
- 250g ricotta
- A small handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- Salt and pepper
- Floral runny honey, for drizzling
- Micro herbs or red amaranth, for colour
- First make the batter. In a bowl, whisk the egg and flour together, then add the sparkling water and whisk lightly to remove lumps - don't over whisk so you lose the air bubbles, as you want the batter to be light.
- For the stuffing, put the ricotta, mint and lemon zest in a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste and mix until combined.
- Gently open the courgette flowers and pinch out the stamen. Place a large tablespoon of the stuffing into each flower. Punch and twist the petals lightly to seal the top - you want to make sure the stuffing is sealed in the flower so it doesn't leak out while cooking.
- Pour the oil into a large, heavy-based pan; it needs to come at least halfway up the sides. Place over a high heat until it reaches 180°C - to test whether the oil is ready, drop a bit of the batter in: if it sizzles and bubbles to the top, it's ready.
- Lightly coat the courgette and stuffed flowers in the batter and gently lower into the oil. Do this in batches so they don't stick together, and be careful when lowering them in as the hot oil will spit. Fry for about 2 minutes until light-golden brown and crispy. Using a slotted or wire spoon, transfer to kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil.
- Serve immediately, with a drizzle of hone y and a sprinkling of micro herbs and sea salt.