“This is a wonderful way to showcase the delicious brown crab that abounds in our waters. The umami of the seaweed and sharpness of the cheddar set off the sweetness of the crab perfectly. A great starter or a tasty snack with a cold glass of Chardonnay.”
– Carla Lamont, Ninth Wave Restaurant, Fionnphort, Isle of Mull
Ingredients (makes four):
Four courgette flowers
75g white crab meat
50g soft crowdie cheese (or ricotta)
15g grated Isle of Mull cheddar (or parmesan)
1/2 tsp fresh chopped dill
1 tsp chopped capers
1 cup cold soda water
120g plain flour seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper
60g corn flour
1 tsp Mara Shony seaweed
Oil for frying, such as sunflower seed oil
Hebridean (or other) sea salt
1. Wash the courgette flowers very gently under cold running water. Remove the hard centre pistil from inside and arrange the flowers on a towel to dry.
2. Mix the crab, crowdie cheese and the grated Mull cheddar in a bowl. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper, chopped dill and capers.
3. Open the flower petals carefully and (using a small spoon or a piping bag filled with the cheese mixture) start to fill the inner cavity with the cheese filling, taking care not to over-fill.
4. Close the tips of the petals so that the filling remains in place. If the courgette flowers are large you may tie the ends together with a chive or a long, thin julienne of leek.
5. Heat a 10cm depth of oil in a suitable deep, heavy-based saucepan until it registers 180°C on a frying thermometer, or until a cube of white bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in just under a minute.
6. Measure seaweed, flours and soda into a bowl and whisk together to create a batter.
7. Cook two to four courgette flowers at a time, depending on their size and the diameter of your pan: dip the stuffed flowers into the batter to coat, then carefully lower them into the hot oil. Deep-fry for one to two minutes, until puffed up, crisp and golden brown.
8. Drain on kitchen paper.
9. Sprinkle with Hebridean sea salt and serve at once.