So much time has gone since my last post, but here we are with a new summery recipe. The biggest news is that we have an allotment (un orto) where we are growing all sorts of greeneries despite the slugs. Lettuce is doing great and so are the broadbeans, so I will try to post some healthy salads recipes in the future.
Anyway, this year, a bit like last year, spring has struggled to arrive here in Oxford and temperatures are still quite low, especially for being summer. Strawberries, raspberries and all fruits and vegetables are late and the general feeling is not very summery yet. On the other hand, this week elderflower have finally blossomed. We discovered elderflowers here in the UK, and we love them. We like to have a walk along the Thames and forage these white umbrellas to use in different recipes. Here is the first one, but I think I will post another one soon.
These light fritters must be served whilst they are hot and crisp and are absolutely delicious. We have simply sprinkled some sugar on them but you could also add a light dust of cinnamon. The inspiration for the recipe comes from Nigel Slater’s book “Tender Volume II”.
16 elderflower heads
oil for deep frying
For the batter:
100 g plain flower
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 egg white
175 ml sparkling mineral water
In a bowl sift the flour then add the olive oil. Then slowly add the water while continuing to mix until you have obtained a homogeneous and thick mixture. Leave to rest for about 30 minutes. The resting time is essential to obtain a light batter which will not overwhelm the delicate flavour of the flowers. Just before you plan to fry the elderflowers, beat the egg white and add it gently into the batter.
Shake the flowers to get rid of any insects and wash them by carefully and briefly dipping them in a bowl of water. Shake them dry and check that there are not small insects hiding amongst the flowers. Snip the flower heads into small stems.
Heat the oil and test it to make sure it is hot enough – if you dip a small piece of bread this should get golden in a few seconds. One by one, dip each elderflower into the batter and lower them into the hot oil. The batter will bubble up around the tiny flowers. Remove when the batter is gold and crisp. Place the flower on a plate with some kitchen paper to absorb the oil and sprinkle with sugar while still hot. Serve and eat when still hot and crisp.