Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Courgette flowers

Seasonal courgettes are one of the most versatile of the summer squashes. They are delicious cut lengthways, brushed in garlic oil, char-grilled and served with feta, peas and mint, or sliced in a courgette and Manchego frittata.

But it is their golden flowers that are prized by chefs. If you see these at a greengrocers or farmers' market, snap them up. Female flowers come with a mini courgette attached and male ones with a small stalk. The flowers don’t last so are best bought and cooked on the same day.

Stuff the flowers with batons of buffalo mozzarella, parsley and anchovies and shallow fry. At Salt Yard restaurant, in London (020 7637 0657; http://www.saltyard.co.uk/), they serve courgette flowers filled with Monte Enebro goat's cheese, drizzled in honey, lightly battered and fried with the vegetable still attached.

These tapas-style dishes work well with a Manzanilla Pasada Pastrana (£10.50; Jeroboams: 020 7288 8850). This single-vineyard aged Manzanilla has a crisp but well rounded flavour that complements the sweet oiliness of the dish.

No comments: