Zucchini flower fritters

If you have zucchini plants in your garden at the moment then it’s well and truly time to enjoy both the zucchini and their flowers. The flowers should be picked early in the morning whilst they’re wide open and crisp. I only pick the male flowers which are the ones that grow on the stems of the plant (the female flowers are those attached to the zucchini themselves- they are good to use if you’re making stuffed flowers with the zucchini attached to them).

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The flowers are quite delicate so must be handled with care and they are a haven for insects so ensure that you wash them thoroughly. The stamens must be removed from the middle of the flower before you can use them.

To make these fritters really tasty you need to use a generous amount of basil, red onion, Pecorino cheese and grated zucchini (from the garden if you have them). I shallow fry them in sunflower oil as it has a high smoke point and I find much less oil is absorbed than if you were to use olive oil.

They make a great starter to any summer time meal or you can enjoy them as a snack. Try the recipe out and let me know what you think!

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Makes 20 fritters

Ingredients

15 zucchini flowers, stamens removed then thoroughly washed

1 1/2 cups basil, thoroughly washed and roughly torn up

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese

2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten

2/3 cup wholemeal plain flour

1 1/3 cups self-raising flour

1/2 cup water

Sunflower oil, for shallow frying

Method

1. Gently tear the zucchini flowers into strips, then place them in a large bowl.

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2. Next add the torn up basil, the diced onion and the grated zucchini.

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3. Season with salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste, then add the grated Pecorino cheese.

4. Add the lightly beaten eggs then mix everything together with a fork to ensure that the mixture is evenly combined.

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5. Now add both types of flour along with the water and mix again with a fork until everything is thoroughly combined. The batter should be thick yet wet. If it’s dry, add a little more water but be careful not to make it runny.

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6. Once the batter is the right consistency, heat the sunflower oil in a large fry pan. You only need enough oil for shallow-frying. While it’s heating up, line a couple of large plates with paper towels.

7. Once the oil is hot enough, place spoonfuls of the batter into the oil and shape them into fritters. Try not to overcrowd the pan (I separated mine after I took this photo- it’s hard to fry things and remember to take photo’s too!)

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8. Once the bottom of the fritters are golden, flip all the fritters over and fry them until the other side is golden too.

9. When ready, quickly remove them from the fry pan and place them on the plates lined with paper towel which you prepared earlier. Cover the fritters with paper towels and gently press down on them to soak up any excess oil.

10. Repeat the above process with the remainder of the batter.

11. Allow the fritters to cool down for a minute then serve.

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*If you’d like to use this recipe, please reference this blog- thank you!

Walnut, garlic and parsley cheese spread

Looking for a quick and delicious snack? Something to serve to guests coming over this weekend? Try this walnut, garlic and cheese spread! It’s made using low-fat cream cheese and only took a few minutes to put together. It’s great on crackers and will keep in the fridge for a few days (if it lasts that long!)

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Ingredients

250g low-fat cream cheese

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Method

1. Scoop the cream cheese into a bowl and mash with a fork to soften it.

2. Add the chopped walnuts, parsley and garlic.

3. Stir using a fork to combine the ingredients.

4. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until needed.

*If you’d like to use this recipe, please reference this blog- thank you!