Feeling flowery in veggie heavenFeeling flowery in veggie heaven

Last week I took part in Dan of Food Urchin’s dinner blogging challenge (called ‘Where’s my pork chop?’). Basically I cooked him some dinner and in return I got,well these:


                  

There’s loads of potatoes,beans and courgettes hiding under the kale

 

I’m going to be blogging what I cooked for Dan in a separate post so check back for that in the next few days. Here I want to tell you some of what I’ve done with the veg so far.

Dan had been down to his allotment bright and early on the day of the swap and picked me a selection of goodies in their prime. In the bag were charlotte potatoes,curly kale,green (French) beans,courgettes and COURGETTE FLOWERS ?. I’d been hoping for some of the latter as I’ve only tried them once before and they aren’t that easy to buy. We’ve tried to grow our own courgettes this year but we aren’t having much success so far (the first lot of seeds didn’t germinate) so I was particularly delighted with the flowers.

Of course as everything had been picked only a few hours before I took the picture above the veg were absolutely bouncing with freshness. I was pretty pleased with my haul and it really demonstrated how lovely and fresh veg can be when their distance from the ground to the kitchen is short. I now have allotment envy.

So what I have I done with the veg so far?

Well as recommended by Dan I did some of the kale with oil and chilli. I actually steamed it first then gave it a quick sauté in rapeseed oil and chilli flakes. It was really good,the kale still had a little bit of crunch to it and the chilli complemented the slight bitterness that is inherent in brassicas like kale. I’ll definitely try it like this again and venture out into varying the spice choice as well.

 

 


The potatoes are just brilliant. One of my gripes about potatoes is that its not that easy to get ones that taste of anything much but when you do WOW instead of thinking potatoes taste kind of bland and nothingy you realise they have an earthy sweetness all of their own. Dan’s potatoes hit the mark on this – I assume its because they were straight from the ground. So far we’ve had them simply boiled and also crushed and cooked with some onion. Yum.

The beans and the courgettes we’ve steamed and tossed in a little oil or butter – again when things are this fresh they can shine on their own. And the flowers?             

 

                  

Well searching in cookbooks,on the internet and tweeting all seemed to point to stuffing the flowers,dipping in a tempura batter and deep-frying. Hmmmmm. I’ve never deep-fried anything;I don’t own a deep fat fryer,I too vividly recall close calls with chips pans in the 1970s (and that safety advert they used to run) to suddenly think that deep-frying them is the way to go. I also don’t want to experiment with a new technique on my precious courgette flowers – imagine if it goes wrong…..after a bit more thinking and searching I decide to just have them fresh and perky as they are in a salad but I do go with the flavours that many of the deep fried recipes suggest i.e. fresh soft cheese and herbs.                  



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I simply tore the flowers and tossed them with the rest of the salad (rocket,basil,lollo rosso,tomato,cucumber) before adding some of my favourite Buxlow Wonmil cheese and drizzling with a little oil. The flowers aren’t particularly strong in flavour but they add a both a different colour and texture to the salad. They are curiously soft yet slightly crunchy at the same time and a good addition.     I guess if I get more flowers I might dare to experiment with deep-frying but for now I’m happy I stuck to adding my flowers to a salad. (Dan – more flowers please….)!     

 

7 comments to Feeling flowery in veggie heaven

  • mangocheeks

    Oh Linda,

    You have been busy.

    That last plate with the zucchini flowers looks like a picture on a plate.

    Please do try tempura or stuffed courgette and squash flowers if you get the chance,they are amazingly light and crisp.

  • Alex

    Love courgette flowers –you're so lucky to have had a taste this year!

  • fran39

    That salad looks so pretty. Have you tried nasturtium flowers? They really are tasty!

  • Heavenly Housewife

    What a beautiful salad you made. Several months ago I got a box from Abel &Cole,and sadly I just had too much to know what to do with it. Some of it got thrown out (which i so hate to do).
    p.s. still working on the macaroons,but haven't tried filling them yet because I would have only had about 3 cookies. I'll wait till I can make a more healthy looking batch :)
    p.s.s. i love the moro book too

  • Lauren

    The courgette flower salad looks amazing,although it seems a shame to tear them though!

    I think you have put me in the mood for salad tonight. :)

  • Karen

    That is a beautiful salad! I have some zucchini in the garden and have been looking at recipes to use the flowers. I'm thinking maybe make some ricotta and stuff them then bake or fry them. Yum!

  • Ollie

    Top choice with the flowers. They look absolutely stunning.

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