I have yet to meet someone who does not like courgette blossoms (zucchini flowers) fried in batter and I have dedicated a post or two to this delectable concoction.
I thought I would have a go at stuffing the blossoms with rice instead. Take a look at these photos, it is all fairly obvious and self explanatory.
You will need Italian rice for this (arborio or carnaroli, whatever), butter, freshly grated parmesan cheese, courgette blossoms, oil for frying (I used groundnut oil this time).
While the rice is boiling, place some butter and freshly grated parmesan into a bowl. You could also, now that I think about it, add some fresh nutmeg and a selection of chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper too.
Drain the rice …. Then mix it in with the butter, cheese and seasoning. When the rice has cooled down sufficiently, cover with clingfilm and put it in the fridge until you are going to use it. The rice could even be made a day in advance. Bathe your courgette flowers in warm water so that they regain a firmer texture. Use very cold sparkling water to make your batter. This batter was made using sparkling water, flour, corn starch and egg. Keep the batter in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before using it. One hour is even better.Take the cooked rice out of the fridge and let it reach room temperature. Drain the flowers. We can get on with it now … Remove the thingy in the middle of the flower … sorry, but I can’t remember it’s name right now, I’m useless at botany (it’ll come to me in the middle of the night, I know, how annoying!). Don’t worry about the flower having been de-flowered, so to speak. It will get re-composed once it’s been stuffed with the rice. Grab some rice and mould it into a sausage shape, making sure that it will be small enough to fit into the flower. Don’t be afraid to press quite hard. Insert the rice-sausage into the flower, and fold the petals all around it. Dip the flowers in the batter and fry.It won’t take long for them to become golden and crisp. Do remember that frying can be a devilish joker when it comes to time: …. it takes forever to fry the first items (or at least it seems to take forever), but by the end of it you can hardly keep up with it, it all goes so fast! Sprinkle some salt only after they’ve been fried.Silly me, I added some herbs only at the end.
And what did we make of this fusion between fiore di zucca fritto and a supplì ? Mmm. I like the idea but I thought it tasted rather ‘bland’. Will have to keep working at it. I am sure that herbs in the rice mixture would cheer things up immensely and maybe adding some mozzarella would add some je-ne-sais-quoi.
I am, however, very pleased with myself for having created a new finger food: the “supplì di fiore di zucca”!
P.S. It turned out that I had too much rice. Instead of throwing it away, I buttered a small pan and spread the rice over it, cooking it gently until it went crisp, and then turning it over and doing the same thing on the other side.
Sadly no photo of finished result … but it was nice. Rice is always, always nice.