On our last visit to our local farm shop, we spotted in the vegetable garden a lot of courgette flowers. They didn’t have them for sale in the shop so we asked if they could cut some for us. The very friendly lady agreed and asked what we wanted to do with them, adding that she had only tried them once, while in Italy.
Unsurprising. Fried courgette flowers are a classic and much sought after Italian dish, but hard to find because it is so uncommon to find courgette flowers in shops and when you do they are quite expensive.
We dipped the flowers in a wine-based batter and fried them. We served them with sage leaves prepared in the same way. The result is delicious and well worth the inevitable frying smell that will haunt the kitchen.
FRIED COURGETTE FLOWERS AND SAGE
For 8 courgette flowers and 10 sage leaves:
100 g 00 flour
1/2 glass of dry white wine
2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper
1/2 glass of warm water
vegetable oil for frying
In a bowl sift the flour then add the egg yolk, olive oil, wine, salt and black pepper and mix. Then slowly add the warm water while continuing to mix until you have obtained a homogeneous mixture. If the mixture is to thick add more water. Leave to rest for an hour.
In the meantime wash and clean the courgette flowers, removing the stems and pistils. If the flowers are large cut them in half lengthwise. Whisk the egg white until stiff and gently stir it into the flour mixture.
In a frying pan heat the vegetable oil until very hot. Check the temperature with a small piece of bread, if it floats on the surface bubbling vigorously the temperature is just right. Dip the flowers and sage leaves in the batter, drip them briefly and then fry them a few at a time for about 30 seconds on each side or until golden. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and rest them on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.