Fried courgette flowers with crab, tomato and lemon dressing

Made at J Sheekey | Serves 4

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Courgette flowers can be found in the summer in good farmer’s markets, specialist stores and ‘pick your own’ farms. Pumpkin flowers would work well, too.

 

4 courgette flowers

20g plain flour

½ normal bunch basil

Sunflower oil for frying

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the batter

165ml lager

80g self raising flour

Pinch of Cayenne pepper

Dash of soy sauce

Salt and ground white pepper

For the crab, tomato and lemon dressing

200g white crab meat

6 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Juice and grated zest of ½ lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Pour the beer into a large mixing bowl and gently whisk in the flour until you get a smooth and silky consistency (you may need to add more or less flour). Add Cayenne, soy sauce and seasoning. Leave in the fridge till ready to use. This can be made an hour before needed.

To make the dressing, mix the oil, vinegar, zest and lemon juice together in a bowl. Add the tomatoes, red onion and white crab meat. Mix well and season. Leave to one side.

Pour 6cm oil into medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan or use a deep-fat fryer. Heat to 160°C. If using a saucepan, please be careful as the oil will be very hot. Carefully dust the flowers in flour. Dip them in batter and fry until golden brown. Remove them with tongs and place onto kitchen paper to soak up excess oil.  Season.

To serve, spread the crab dressing in a large serving dish, placing the courgette flowers on top. Scatter with torn basil.

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