12 small courgettes with flowers
For the ricotta stuffing;
75g bacon, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
Pinch of nutmeg, grated
Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the batter;
200g self raising flour
400ml of ice cold water
Oil for deep frying
60g plain flour
2 plum tomatoes, finely diced
60g mushrooms, finely sliced and roughly diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons chives, finely chopped
Prepare the courgettes.
Carefully pull back the flowers and remove the pollen stems. Set aside.
Make the ricotta stuffing.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the garlic and bacon. Cook for a couple of minutes until the bacon is cooked through. Remove from the heat and let the bacon and garlic cool. Place the remaining ingredients into a bowl and add the bacon and garlic. Mix the ingredients together well.
Stuff the flowers.
Place small spoonfuls of the stuffing into the courgette flowers and press the mixture down firmly. When each flower is full, twist the top of the flower to ensure the stuffing does not fall out. Set aside.
Make the batter.
Put the flour and the salt into a mixing bowl and mix in the iced water so that it is just combined.
Cook the courgette flowers.
Preheat the oil in a deep fryer to 180C. Toss the courgettes in the flour then dip them, a few at a time, into the batter. Put them in the deep fryer and fry them for 1 – 2 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Remove them from the fryer and drain off the excess oil on kitchen paper. Keep the courgettes warm while you deep fry the rest of them.
Mix together the mushrooms, tomatoes, chives, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Place 2 – 3 courgettes in the centre of each serving plate and spoon a little of the mushroom mixture around them.