This is a post about our family trip to Salzburg this summer which I have been meaning to write for a few months, but I somehow always got caught up with other events that happened after our holiday. Finally, I am writing it now and I can’t wait to share this stuffed courgette flowers recipe with you. I know some of you probably won’t be able to find courgette flowers anymore this year, but this recipe is a keeper and you can make this when courgette flowers are available in your area. It is easy and takes no time to make, I guarantee you will love it! But before I show you the recipe, I would like to tell you a bit more about our Salzburg trip, about the wonderful food that we had and how I made this dish from picking the courgette flowers to cooking them. A truly wonderful experience for a city girl like me 😉 I think I am going to grow courgette on my balcony next summer so I can make this amazingly delicious dish anytime I want to!!
The whole Salzburg trip was really enjoyable, especially I loved the time we spent on the Mountain- near Post Alm in the area of Abtenau – with our friends (who invited us to stay with them in Salzburg) to visit their family. We drove up to the mountains late morning and it was very hot, we drove past miles and miles of green meadows with high mountains in the background, wooden chalets scattered in between, cows and horses wandered around freely. The whole area was stunning and exactly as the tourist postcards! We were, without a doubt, dazzled by the stunning scenery around us!
We arrived at the family house which had a large garden in the middle of those meadows and next to a small stream running through a creek. We were greeted by the family with homemade elderflower drinks, the scent and the sweetness of the elderflower cordial simply started our taste buds for the delicious food that followed and the drink really cooled us down from the warm weather. A long table in one side of the garden was set for a wonderful lunch that we thoroughly enjoyed.
The protagonist of our lunch was ‘Schinken Strudle’ – puffed pastry filled with a mixture of chopped onion, diced ham (from a local farm), creamy curd and lots of fresh chopped parsley, basil and mints, then baked in the oven until golden brown. When the hostess Laura brought it to the table, the buttery smell of the strudel already gave you a taste of what was to come (I am pretty sure the whole setting of this lunch was an absolute added factor!). To accompany the strudel, a homemade garden herbs yogurt sauce was a must – the coolness of the sauce made a nice contrast with the steaming hot strudel, the combination of the savory taste from the ham and the slightly sourness from the sauce was essential to the overall flavour. This delicious dish was completed with a garden salad with Tropaeolum flowers, then dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette. It was a joy to sit on one of the most beautiful mountain sites in Salzburg, listening to the sound of the streaming water and having this mouth-watering ham strudel.
All the salad and herbs were ‘home grown’ and were picked just before our arrival. I was so impressed by the whole meal and was very eager to know and see every single ingredient in the salad. After lunch, Laura showed me around and explained to me each and every herb and vegetable she had in her garden. It was the real highlight for me and I instantly sunk into the sensation of touching, rubbing and smelling all the herbs around me. When we got to the overgrown courgette patch, I was overly excited and immediately had the picture of stuffed courgette flowers in my mind which I had been longing to cook for a while. From then on, my rest of the day was one long anticipation. And now, I will also share the recipe with you.
Notes: you can use other cream cheese in place of ricotta. I didn’t use much oil. I would say about 2-3 centimeter deep in the frying pan should be sufficient.
(served 4 as a starter)
For the courgette flower
- 8-10 courgette flowers
- 200g ricotta
- 3-4 anchovies, minced with a fork
- 8-10 basil leaves
- black pepper
For the batter
- 4 heaped tbsp. plain flour
- 1 scant tablespoon of potato or corn starch
- a small pinch of salt
- 200ml (more or less) cold sparkling water
- oil for frying
To prepare the courgette flowers, combine the ricotta, minced anchovies and black pepper in a medium mixing bowl.
To prepare the batter, mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and slowly add in sparkling water until well combined. The mixture should be quite thin but not watery. set aside for 15 minutes.
Use a small tea spoon, stuff the courgette flowers with the cheese mixture, then gently twist the tip of the pedal to close and secure the filling.
Heat the oil in a pan until a drop of batter sizzles in just a few second. Carefully drop the stuffed flowers into the hot oil, don’t over-crowd the pan, do in batches if needed. Turn the flowers in the oil to make sure they are cooked evenly. When the batter turns slightly gold, removed the flower with a slotted spoon, place them on a kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Serve immediately.