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Saturday, August 26, 2006
F is for... Fleur de Courgette

When something is available for only few months you should rush for it; especially if it's fleur de courgette.
Fleurs de courgette, or courgette flowers are associated with provençal cooking in my mind because I don't know other ways to cook them that the way old grand-mères niçoises do.
But they're also linked with a memory of mine. The kind of memory you'd prefer to have forgotten. Though, this memory is thankfully soothed by the gorgeous courgette flowers. I suppose I'm not being very clear, so let me develop.

It is a hot summer day during the late eighties. My parents brought me on holiday along them and I am eager to discover the wonderful city of Marseille.
We go to the gorgeous beaches; we walk through attractive fruit/vegetable stalls at the farmers market...
It was all perfect. Perfect until the day my dad decided we should go at the grand place where the boule pétanque challenge takes place.
We sit here on a wooden faded-green bench and we watch.
It is so hot! But the high trees provide an enjoyable shadow, making the heat more bearable.
As usual, my chatty dad starts talking with the players and my name comes to the conversation.
'In Provence there is a tradition. When a pétanque player looses 'il est fanny' [he's fanny]; meaning that he has to kiss the bottom of a girl called Fanny.'

I am there, sitting and unable to face my destiny. I am scared: I think the looser will actually try to kiss my bum (which is by the way prettily draped in a new-bought dress).
So as soon as the game reaches its near-end I press my parents.
'Maman, Papa! Allez on y va!' [Mum, Dad! Come on! Hurry up!]
Few minutes later we are – to my relief – quitting the grand place and heading towards a crique [creek] where friends of my parents are waiting for us.
As we are walking the air is getting packed with aromatic perfumes. 'On arrive bientôt!' [We're approaching!].
I can see the creek. A tiny little creek and a giant wooden tent! I rush inside the tent where Marcel is preparing the dinner.
I immediately spot the small basket filled with gorgeous yellow flowers. I ask Marcel what there are.
'Fleurs de courgette' 'J'aime pas les courgettes' [I don't like courgettes]
'Mais là, je suis sûr que tu vas adoré' [Maybe, but i can tell you that you're going to love this]
Indeed he was right. I loved it: a delicious combination of crispy batter and soft flower.
That night, Marcel also delighted us with a luscious bouillabaisse [fish soup].

Beignets de fleur de courgettes
These are, as suggested above, a pure treat: almost melting inside and dead-crispy outside.
Use male flowers for this and if you can, remove the stamens.
The batter I used here is a tempura wannabe though it's a little more thick.

Beignets de fleur de courgettes
serves 2 as a starter

6 fleurs de courgettes
1 egg yolk
100g flour
100ml ice-cold water
seasoning to taste
olive oil, to deep-fry

Fill a high pot with 4cm of olive oil and bring to the boil.
Mix the egg yolk, flour and water in a bowl. Season.
Dip the flowers in the batter and deep-fry until golden and crispy on both sides.
Eat as soon as ready.

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11 sweets:
Anonymous Ninnie said something sweet:

Je n'ai jamais cuisiné cette fleur, mais là, tu ne me donne plus le choix! Les photos, toujours aussi magnifiques!

26 August, 2006 13:53 

Blogger jenjen said something sweet:

I have always failed to find a way of cooking zucchini flowers that I liked. But this one seems like way I could definitely go for. Thanks

26 August, 2006 15:00 

Blogger Catherine said something sweet:


I just discovered these this year. They are truly delicious.

26 August, 2006 16:56 

Blogger Kate said something sweet:

My favorite way to eat squash blossoms is to stuff them with goat cheese (maybe mixed with herbs, sundried tomatoes...) and then tempura-fry them! soooo delicious. beautiful pictures!

26 August, 2006 18:35 

Blogger ooishigal said something sweet:

Comme c'est joli! j'ai jamais goûté, c'est super appétissant, a tester donc!
J'ai beaucoup aimé ton anecdote :)

26 August, 2006 19:02 

Anonymous bea at La Tartine Gourmande said something sweet:

SO FUNNY Fanny. I am JUST back from the market this am with 6 of those and am preparing a stuffing for tonight ;-) Your recipe looks lovely!

26 August, 2006 19:27 

Blogger Alhya said something sweet:

je n'ai pas encore testé, mais chaque fois que je vois ces merveilles cuisinées je me dis qu'il faut que j'essaie... tes photos sont sublimes

27 August, 2006 10:07 

Blogger L Vanel said something sweet:

I completely agree that your photos are simply amazing and now that I've seen your recipe I just might try frying them this time! Bravo Fanny and keep up the beautiful work.

27 August, 2006 17:34 

Blogger Elodie said something sweet:

J'arrive pas à le croire, on a couru tout le marché de l'Isle sur la Sorgue à la recherche de fleurs de courgettes pour goûter cette spécialité avant de partir pour Toulouse dans notre périple vacancier, nous n'en avons pas trouvé, et c'est sur ton site que je les vois toutes cuisinées ! C'est trop injuste !

27 August, 2006 19:19 

Blogger The Culinary Chase said something sweet:

I 'wish' I could try this but getting courgette flowers in Hong Kong is a bit tricky. So, when I find a source I'll be sure to try this recipe! Cheers!

28 August, 2006 02:25 

Anonymous Norman said something sweet:

What a great idea to use male flower without the little baby Zuchinni (that's what we call Courgette in Australia) at the back - didn't know thre are male flowers until I saw your picture of these morsels.

02 October, 2006 01:29 

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