Italian Regional Recipes Starters

Stuffed & Deep-Fried Courgette Flowers

Different preparations with courgette flowers are common throughout Italy, from Liguria till the deep South – but when the flowers are stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies, then deep fried, well, they say Rome.

Courgette flowers were probably first used in the kitchen to avoid waste and maximise the efforts that go into maintaining a vegetable garden. Whilst the primary purpose of planting courgettes or pumpkins is the fruit, who would throw away a byproduct that tastes this good?

Since then, courgette flowers have come a long way: they’re now known and appreciated mostly as a street food delicacy, perfect to bite on whilst strolling down the streets of Rome, but also perfect as appetizer.


Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 10 mins

  • Courgette flowers: 4
  • Tinned Anchovy fillets in olive oil: 4
  • Mozzarella: 100 g
  • A/P Flour: 100 g
  • Cold sparkle water: a coffee cup
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – EVOO for deep frying – or Peanuts oil
  • Salt: to taste

Method

Cleaning Courgette Flowers:

Take the flowers, one at a time, and peel off the lateral growths at the base of the flower itself.
Do not cut the stem at the base.
Gently open the flower and remove the pistil.
Quickly rinse the flower under running water, massage it gently and put it to dry on a clean cloth. Do this for all pumpkin flowers.

Preparing the batter:

Sieve the flour. In a bowl gradually mixing a spoonful of flour and a glass of cold water, whisking them with a fork; add more flour or water as needed, until the batter has an uniform texture and it is neither liquid nor solid. Make sure to use only very cold water and don’t add salt.

Use some kitchen paper to absorb part of the mozzarella’s water, so that it isn’t released in the batter when the mozzarella fries.

Stuff each flower with a piece of mozzarella and one of anchovy fillet.

Tip: to make sure they stay closed, pinch the edges of the petals all together and twist then delicately.

Heat up the oil in a large frying pan. Dip the flowers into the batter, then lift them and let the excess batter drip back into the bowl. Deep fry the flowers for a couple of minutes, turning them with a fork to make sure they cook on both sides. When they’re fried through, lay the flowers down on a plate with some kitchen paper that will absorb some of the oil. Season to taste and serve warm!

Tip: The batter used in this recipe is without any yeast or eggs, and therefore it’s great when you want to effortlessly prepare some light fried food in your own kitchen.

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