Courgette flowers in parmesan batter

Courgette flowers are a bit of a rare occurrence in shops and markets – although abundant as the courgettes themselves but almost never sold, I guess because they deteriorate so quickly after picking.  I’m sure if you grow your own, they make a lovely garnish, or addition to risottos, or as so many recipes suggest, deep-fried.

We’ve been getting them in to the Farm Direct depot for the last couple of weeks and I bought some mainly for the novelty factor but I didn’t really fancy deep-frying them, as I don’t have an actual electric fryer and feel filling up a pan of oil is a bit wasteful.  Turned out the day I cooked them was assuredly not a day for risotto, and much more suited to crunchy snacks, so I gave in and poured a little pan of oil as my deep-fat-fryer substitute.
Without the parmesan, I’m not sure how much I would have loved the flowers as they don’t have a lot of flavour but dipped in a cheesy batter and fried, they tasted damn good on a hot day with a cold beer.

I used a half-quantity of this Mark Hix recipe and when I’d done the flowers, I had a heap of batter left, so I halved or quartered the courgettes and deep fried those too.

Only difficult thing about this recipe is getting the pesky fritters to stay turned over.  There was a bit fo faffing about using a fork to flip them and holding them down without getting *too* close to the oil. Also, my electronic thermometer was a handy gadget to deploy here instead of messing about dropping bits of batter in and waiting to see how fast they cooked.

And when the oil had cooled, I poured it into a clean milk bottle, fishing out the bits of crispy batter first, and will use it again, thus easing my conscience about wasting oil.

Really excellent sprinked with salt and eaten as an accompaniment to a cold beer in the sun.

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