One of the small pleasures of have your own veg plot is being able to grow courgettes and more particularly having the benefit of their flowers. I remember almost 25 years ago seeing them for sale in an Italian Market but that is never going to happen here so you have to grow your own. It is a gardner’s treat to wander to the end of the garden, pick off a flower and eat it. There is something earthy about the flavour, the petals light but rough against the tongue and some bite and crunch in the stamen. Eaten like that there is no point in worrying about what small black insects might be lurking inside but once they are brought into the kitchen it is worth soaking them in a bowl of water for twenty minutes to allow any bugs to escape.
This lunchtime we had them with courgettes and pasta.
A large pan of water was brought to the boil and a bag of penne pasta added. Whilst that cooked a good layer of olive oil was put in the frying pan and warmed so that when the sliced courgettes were added they started to sizzle. You need to be careful because you want the courgettes to cook but they need to retain some bite.
Whilst the courgettes are cooking squash and slice about 5 cloves of garlic and a small red chilli. Stir into the pan with a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Slice the bases of the flowers and some of the petals and add to the pan. This should all be ready in the 10 or so minutes it will take the pasta to cook.
Drain the pasta. Whilst it is draining squeeze the juice from a lemon into the pan and bring to a bubble. Stir most of the courgette mixture into the pasta with some cubed soft goat’s cheese. Stir well.
Pour all into a wide serving bowl and slather the top with the last of the courgettes. Decorate with the rest of the courgette flowers and some finely chopped green parsley.
Next week I will have a go deep frying the flowers in a batter made with beaten egg whites.
Listening to Bobby Womack.