Good Eatin’: Cooking With Flowers

List Item: Try 500 of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die

My trip to Borough Market was for the purpose of procuring things for Eurovision dinner. It also gave me the chance to cook with something I had not expected to see:

Food: Courgette Blossom

This is something I know won’t be around during the whole year and, as such, I bought them immediately and proceeded to find a way to cook them afterwards. Apparently I have male flowers here (I asked) and sold by the friendly people at Wild Country Organics. I may buy some herbs from them when I’m next at the market.

I found the following recipe on The Kitchn (I may have made a slight alteration so it was a little less in fat):

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

    • 3/4 cup cornflour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 cup plain flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 10-15 squash blossoms
    • 1/2 cup ricotta
    • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tbsp coarse  breadcrumbs
    • Vegetable oil

To make the batter combine the first five ingredients together followed by the egg and water. Whisk until it’s smooth and then chill. I did this for half an hour.

Then make the filling by mixing the cheese, mayonnaise, oregano and breadcrumbs until fully combined.

To prepare the blossoms you want to gently remove the pistil. The best way to to this is by hand by separating the pettles, insert two fingers then twist and pull to remove the pistil. Then you’ll want to add the stuffing with the smallest spoon you can find. I used a 1/2 tsp measure since you don’t want to tear the delicate petals. Twist the opening in the flower shut (the filling is a surprisingly good glue).

In a large frying pan (I use a wok) add enough oil so you have nice 1-2 cm deep layer. Heat this until it smokes then fry the blossoms so it is golden and crispy.

These are so tasty that they need nothing extra. I am a big fan of courgette fries and these tasted like tender courgette fries with a herby cheese filling. There were three of us and five blossoms… it took a  while to decide what to do. I will have to buy another bag before they fall out of season again.

So yes, this was a nice preamble to a meal which included a number of other delicious Borough Market buys:

Food: Chorizo Iberico de Bellota

The book describes free-range black-footed pigs happily scoffing on cork trees and acorns before being turned into delicious chorizo. This isn’t the way I would like to go but it would be better than being a battery chicken. Not as picante as other chorizos I have had but with a deep smokey taste and a pleasant feeling as the fat begins to melt on your tongue this is a chorizo too special to be cooked with and was enjoyed at room temperature by itself.

Food: Turkish Delight

Not content with just the regular rose-flavoured here there is a mix or rose, pistachio, cinnamon and a rather delicious vanilla-marshmallow sold by The Turkish Deli. Pleasingly sweet, firm and sticky. I have to say the the vanilla-marshmallow one (the yellow one in the picture) may be the best Turkish delight I have ever had. And my nan was a huge fan so I know my Turkish delight.

Food: Melton Mowbray Pork Pie

Okay, this is from Waitrose (thanks mum) but it was eaten along with the chorizo so it’s only fair to include it here. As a kid I never liked the pastry and would just eat the post centre discarding its brown (and lardy, sadly) casing. Now I am older I just take a bite of every bit and enjoy it. In a country that really loves its pies I guess it is only fair that this was included on the food list as a representative.

Progress: 10/500

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