Deep-fried courgette flowers are a treat at the best of times, but cooked this way they’re a real luxury
Fried courgette flowers with lavender honey (V)
I am more than happy just dipping courgette flowers in egg, shallow frying them and serving with lemon, but on special occasions I make this luxurious variation. Serves four.
125g soft goat's cheese 30g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated 2 tbsp chopped chives 1 tsp chopped thyme Salt and black pepper 8 female courgette flowers with the baby courgette attached 100g plain flour 3 eggs, lightly beaten 120g panko breadcrumbs 350ml sunflower oil, for frying About 1 tbsp lavender honey
Make the filling by stirring together the cheeses, chives, thyme, a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Put a tablespoon in the base of each flower and gently twist the tips of the petals to secure the filling inside.
Prepare three shallow bowls: one with the flour and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, one with the beaten eggs and one with the breadcrumbs and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Toss each stuffed flower and attached courgette first in the flour, shaking off any excess, then in the egg. Finally coat with breadcrumbs and set aside.
Pour around 350ml oil into a medium, nonstick frying pan (enough to come 1cm up the sides of the pan) and place on a high heat. After two minutes, turn down the heat to medium and, when bubbles start to surface, put the courgettes in the hot oil, a few at a time, adjusting the temperature so they take about a minute on each side to go a nice golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Place the hot flowers on a serving plate, drizzle over a little honey and serve at once.