Sicilian Courgettes with Courgette Flower Fritters

Bursting with pine nuts, olives and raisins, Shaun Hill makes the most of this summer staple
By Shaun Hill
Sicilian Courgettes with Courgette Flower Fritters
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 4 courgettes
  • 4 courgette flowers
  • 4 tbsp cream cheese
  • 4 basil
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the stuffing

  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 120 ml olive oil
  • 90 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 12 pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp pine kernels, chopped
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1/4 oranges, zest only, chopped

For the batter

  • 125 g self-raising flour
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 egg whites

Method

1. For the stuffing: fry the shallot in a little of the olive oil. Stir in the crumbs, followed by the remaining stuffing ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, and leave to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

3. Peel alternate strips of skin from the courgettes. Cook the courgettes in boiling water for 2 minutes. Cool under running cold water. Split the courgettes in half lengthways, not quite going all the way through forming pockets. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and press the stuffing into the cuts.

4. Bake the courgettes until hot and crisp. The time required depends on the thickness of the vegetables but 10 minutes should be enough. Meanwhile make the courgette flower fritters.

4. For the batter: stir the flour, water and oil together. Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold them in.

5. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180C.

6. Peel back the petals on the courgette flowers and remove the stamens. Spoon a small tablespoon of cream cheese with some basil into the flower, twist the petals to seal in the cheese then dip in batter.

7. Deep fry the flowers for approximately 5 minutes or until golden and crisp.

8. Serve two courgettes with their flowers per portion, as a starter or light lunch.

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