Courgette Flowers_11

One of my favorite dishes at the Salt Yard restaurant in London is these deep fried courgette flowers.  The vibrant courgette flowers are stuffed with a bright and grassy, creamy goats cheese and then deep fried in a light and crisp tempura style batter and finally drizzled with a sweet lavender honey.  Recreating them at home is easier than I had originally thought and if you spot some in the market, snap them up, the make a superb summer starter.  The male flowers don't have the small courgettes attached so make sure you choose the female variety with immature fruit attached.

Serves 2-4
8-12 baby courgettes with the flower attached
250g of soft goats cheese
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of lavender honey
1 litre of sunflower oil to fry

For the batter:
8 tablespoons of plain flour
8 tablespoons of ice cold sparkling water
Sea salt and ground black pepper

In a bowl mix together the goats cheese and thyme leaves.
Open each courgette flower and carefully stuff with a heaped teaspoon of goats cheese.  Seal the the flowers by gently twisting the tops of the petals around the goats cheese.
Heat the oil in a large high sided pot over a medium heat.
Mix together the flour and sparkling water until you have a light and runny batter (it should be just thick enough to be able to coat the courgette flowers) and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Carefully working beside the hot oil, dip the courgette flowers into the batter to coat completely, allowing any excess to drip off.  Gently place the coated courgettes, in batches of 4 at a time, into the hot oil and allow to cook until golden for 3-4 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time if necessary.  You can check if they are tender by piercing the flesh with a fork.
Using a slotted spoon, place the cooked courgette flowers on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Serve the crispy courgette flowers immediately drizzled with lavender honey and seasoned with sea salt and ground black pepper.