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Ricotta Stuffed Courgette Flowers
6 portions as a starter or 4 as a main course

12 small courgettes with flowers

75, bacon diced finely
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
250g ricotta
2 Tbsp Parmesan grated
1 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 Tbsp basil, finely chopped
pinch of grated nutmeg
pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

200g self raising flour
pinch salt
400ml of ice cold water
oil for deep frying

60g plain flour

60g mushrooms, finely sliced and roughly diced
2 plum tomatoes, finely diced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp chives finely chopped

Carefully pull back the flowers and cut out pollen stems. Set the
courgettes aside while you prepare the stuffing.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat, when it is hot
add the garlic and bacon to the pan. Cook them for a couple of
minutes so that the bacon is cooked. Remove the pan from the heat
and allow the bacon and garlic to cool. Place all the remaining
ingredients in a bowl with the cooled garlic and bacon. Mix the
mixture together until it is well combined. Set aside or refrigerate
the stuffing until ready to use.

Place small spoonfuls of the stuffing into the flowers, pressing
the mixture firmly down. Fill each one until they are well filled,
twist the top of the flowers to secure in the stuffing. Set aside
or refrigerate until ready to cook.

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer, a deep pan or wok to 180-190: (a
small cube of bread will float to the top and be golden after a
few seconds). Place the flour with the salt in a bowl and mix in
the iced cold water so that is just combined (this batter must be
used immediately).

Toss the courgettes gently in the flour and then dip a few of them
at a time in the batter. Place the coated courgettes in the preheated
oil and deep fry them for 1-2 minutes, so that they are golden and
crisp all over. Remove the courgettes from the oil and drain them
on kitchen paper. Place the courgettes in a warm while you cook
the remaining ones.

Place the mushrooms, tomatoes, chives, olive oil and balsamic
together in a bowl. Mix them together until well combined. Place
2-3 courgettes in the centre of each plate and spoon around a little
of the mushroom and tomato mixture. If you are serving them as a
main accompany the dish with a bowl of mixed salad leaves. Serve.

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