I’d never really eaten courgette flowers before, not whole anyway. I may have had them chopped up and sprinkled into a salad, but I’d never had them whole. Mainly because they’re a rarity in Hong Kong, so it’s not something that we come by easily (or cheaply if they are available).
So, when my dad found some at the farmer’s market and chucked them into our basket on a whim, I wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with them. Then one night, while we were discussing what to do for dinner at home, Dad suggested we have the courgette flowers as a starter. But, seeing as it was a football game night, Dad wasn’t going to do the cooking. That meant it was up to me to come up with an idea of what to do.
I’d seen plenty of stuffed and fried courgettes, but I didn’t really want to fry them. So I took a few ideas from various locations, and worked out the best combination of flavours and how long they need to be baked for.
Courgette flowers don’t have a strong taste, but they do pair really well with creamy and citrus flavours, ingredients that don’t overpower the delicateness of the flowers themselves. And the preparation can be a bit fiddly, as the flowers can rip easily, which is what happened to a couple of the flowers as I tried to remove the stamens.
Now that I’m back in Hong Kong, I’m making a list of things I’d like to make, for both myself and the blog. Inspiration is everywhere, but as with most people once they’ve come back from a long holiday, motivation isn’t necessarily abound. I’ve been socialising, getting back into work, and going to the gym, so I’ve barely been in the kitchen.
That will all start to change over the next few days, as I get my routine back. Plus, Great British Bake Off is back and I am hoping to get some baking done inspired by the challenges that the contestants have to carry out. Don’t hold your breath, but I’ll keep you updated as things do come about.
On top of baking, though, I want to come up with some more fun and delicious vegetarian dishes, as well as some incredible, healthier options. I want to do it all, but I know that I need to find a good balance between everything. Bear with me, I will keep putting out food for you to look at and try at home. I promise.
8 courgette flowers
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
250 grams ricotta
3 tbsp milk
zest of 1 lemon
1 bunch mint, roughly chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a frying pan, heat a tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the spring onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- While the onions and garlic are cooling, carefully remove the stamen of the courgette flowers. You can use tweezers or your fingers, depending on what is easier for you. Gently rinse the flowers, then pat dry with a tea towel, and leave to air dry.
- Place the cooled onions and garlic in a bowl, and add ricotta, milk, lemon zest and mint, salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Using a piping bag, carefully pipe the filling into each courgette flower. You may want someone to help you hold the flower open while you pipe. Twist the ends of the flowers to seal them. Once each flower is piped, place them on the lined baking tray. Drizzle with some olive oil.
- Place the stuffed flowers into the oven for 20 minutes, gently turning them over halfway through.
- Serve warm. Use additional filling as a condiment for the flowers, or part of a main course.