To us, this dish celebrates the start of the warm season and is always greeted with yelps of pure joy. You can use store-bought ricotta but we highly recommend making and using your own garlicky ricotta as it adds a deeply satisfying twist to the stuffing mix.
Season: early summer
Makes: 12 - 15
Time: 30 minutes
12 - 15 courgette flowers
1 cup homemade garlicky ricotta
¼ cup parmesan or pecorino cheese, freshly grated
handful mint, finley chopped
small handful parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce or dried chilli flakes (optional)
zest of half a lemon
juice of ½ a lemon
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 cup plain flour
1 egg yolk
¾ cup cold sparkling water
About 1 litre of your preferred high-temperature stable cooking oil
Check your flowers for insects and set aside.
Mix the ricotta with all the other filing ingredients until well combined. Taste along the way adjusting the seasoning as you go.
Carefully spoon 3- 4 heaped teaspoons of the filling into the flowers. Gently fold the top edges over the mixture to cover and seal by making a little twist at the top. Set aside.
Sift the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sparkling water and egg yolk. You're aiming for a consistency should be like pancake batter. Add more water or flour if necessary.
Add the oil to a large pot, and heat until it registers 180°C on a frying thermometer. Another way to see if the oil has reached the right temperature is by dropping a piece of bread into the oil. It should turn golden brown in just under a minute.
When the oil is ready, dip 2 - 3 stuffed courgette flowers into the batter (lightly shake off any excess), then carefully and slowly lower them into the hot oil. Deep-fry for 1 - 2 minutes. They are ready when they've puffed up and turned a crispy, golden brown.
Remove with slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat until you have deep-fried all of the flowers.
Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately with lemon wedges or a dipping bowl of sriracha sauce.