This is a Turkish take on stuffed zuccini flowers. I really loved the flavoursome crust these had, much nicer than a tempura batter. It may seem a bit of a trauma to cook, but it’s actually pretty simple once you get going. I don’t have the most delicate of touches, but even with my thick clumsy fingers I managed the dainty task of stuffing a flower with cheese. I surprised even myself. To say the little delicious starter went down well would be an understatement – they were glorious. I urge you to try them.
100g halloumi cheese (finely grated)
10g mozzarella cheese (finely grated)
pinch of cardamom
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh mint (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons fresh continental parsley (finely chopped)
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon sumac
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon (zest of)
12 Zucchini flowers with stems
400ml vegetable oil (for deep frying
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
3 tablespoons plain flour
Grind the pepper, garlic and cardamom together to form a thick paste. Stir into the herbs then combine this with the cheeses. Set aside.
Combine the breadcrumbs, sumac, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and lemon zest and set aside.
Open up each flower and carefully remove each stamen. Roll a small sausage of the stuffing in your hands about the size of a large walnut. Open up the flower and place inside. Press the leaves around it gently then twist the tips slightly to keep it in. Repeat with all the zucchini flowers.
Set up 3 bowls. the first with flour, the second with the beaten eggs then the third with the breadcrumb mix. Dust the zucchini stem and flower in flour, then dip in the egg then finally coat well with the crumb mix. Set aside and repeat with all the flowers.
Heat a smallish pan with 400ml vegetable oil until a cube of bread cooks in about 20 seconds. Drop in 3-4 breaded flowers and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve straight away.
I served them with a simple yoghurt and dill dressing on the side.