For the ricotta:
- 1 litre whole milk
- Juice of half a lemon
For the filling:
- 150g ricotta from step 1
- 75 trimmed monk’s beard from Westlands UK
- 1 preserved lemon
- 50g cream cheese
- Pinch salt
- 6-8 courgette flowers from Westlands UK
For the batter
- 160ml beer chilled
- 115g plain flour
- Pinch salt
- Oil for frying
- Sauce and micro leaves to serve
Method for Ricotta and monk’s beard stuffed courgette flowers recipe
- First, make the ricotta. Heat the milk in a saucepan until it reaches 93 degrees Celsius and then remove it from the heat. Add the lemon juice and stir for a couple of minutes before leaving to stand for 10-15 minutes. Pour the contents into a sieve to separate the curds from the whey. Refrigerate until needed.
- Trim the monk’s beard to remove stems and roughly chop. Finely chop the preserved lemon, removing any seeds. Combine the monk’s beard and preserved lemon with 150g curds from step 1, as well as the cream cheese and a generous pinch of flakey salt.
- Remove the stigma from the centre of the courgette flower and insert 1-2 tablespoons of filling (depending on the size of the flower)
- Start heating neutral oil in a deep heavy bottom pan until it reaches 175 degrees Celsius. Sunflower oil works well. Be sure not to fill the pan more than halfway.
- Once the oil is up to temperature, you’ll want to work quickly as it’s the contrast between hot oil and cold batter that gives great results! Add the chilled beer to a bowl with flour and a pinch of salt. Whisk together but don’t worry if it’s not totally smooth. Dip the courgette into the batter and transfer it into the hot oil. Cook in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan) until golden brown (approximately 5 minutes) and then transfer to a paper towel or a cooling rack to remove the excess oil.
- Serve with the sauce of your choice. I chose wild garlic mayonnaise with a drizzle of wild garlic oil and micro herbs.