Updated: Jun 29
I’ve written before about Egizia, the wonderful lady in the Italian hills who taught me to make a sformato and shaped so much of my love for appreciating the seasons. Well, one sunny evening in her kitchen, she also showed me her prosecco-battered courgette flowers (over a glass or two – that woman loved a gossip).
And one sunny evening in lockdown, feeling a bit down about, you know, everything – I decided to make her courgette flowers. Looking at the prosecco bottle, I had a brainwave – how about Pornstar Martini Courgette Flowers?
Hear me out. The prosecco-battered courgette flowers are stuffed with a lemon and basil whipped ricotta. They sit on top of a shaved raw courgette salad, with blobs of a tart passionfruit coulis. Serve with a shot of prosecco and you’ve got a decadent plate showcasing the whole vegetable.
2 baby courgettes and their flowers
2 tbsp ricotta
2 tsp olive oil
Zest and juice of half a lemon
10 leaves basil, finely chopped
3 shots of prosecco
1 passion fruit
1 tsp caster sugar
30-50g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
For the passionfruit coulis: scoop out the passionfruit into a small saucepan. Heat gently with the caster sugar and the lemon juice until you have a coulis. Chill.
Mix 30g flour with a pinch of salt. Whisk in the egg and a single shot of prosecco. If it’s so thin it’s sliding off a spoon, add a little more flour.
Beat the ricotta with the lemon zest, 4 leaves of basil, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Open up the courgette flowers and remove the dusty yellow stamens (I find it easiest to twist these off).
Fill each courgette flower with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture.
Fill a large deep saucepan with about an inch of vegetable oil. Heat to 180 degrees, or until a breadcrumb turns golden in about 30 seconds.
Drop the courgette flowers in the oil and fry until golden and crispy. Set aside on a piece of kitchen paper.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the baby courgettes into shavings. Toss with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and the remaining basil.
To serve: pile the courgette salad between two small plates. Top each with a courgette flower. Drizzle or drop passionfruit coulis around the dishes. Serve each with a shot of prosecco.