Pan fried courgette flowers stuffed with goats cheese and pine nuts, Raz-al-hanout double couscous recipe

• Serves 6

This dish screams of July with its vibrant colours and textures and floral flavours.

A Mediterranean old school favourite, using courgette flowers should really break out of their fine dining image in the UK. There always seems to be a glut of courgettes, using the flowers is a truly rewarding alternative to ratatouille or giant stuffed marrows!

Ingredients

  • 6 large courgette flowers
  • 300 gm hard (or crumbly) goats cheese
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Fine zest ½ lemon
  • 6 sprigs of mint finely chopped
  • 50 gm toasted pine nuts
  • 1 egg (beaten to use as egg wash)
  • 100 gm plain flour
  • 50 ml olive/ pomice oil or good sunflower oil for sautéing

Method

  1. Remove the goats' cheese rind and beat the cheese to smooth; then add the onion, garlic, lemon zest, mint, raspberry vinegar and pine nuts. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
  2. Divide the goats' cheese mix into 6 and carefully shape into 'fat cigar' shape rounds to fit the flowers.
  3. Carefully part one side of each flower and insert the shaped mix then re-shape the flower around the mix (don't worry if some of the goats cheese mix is visible).
  4. Brush each stuffed flower lightly with egg wash and coat fully in plain flour.
  5. Heat a large frying pan to a low to moderate temperature and gently sauté the flowers, carefully turning until crisp and even for 3 minutes until just taking colour and the goat's cheese just starting to suppurate.

Raz-al-hanout double couscous

Ingredients

  • 400 gm Israeli or giant couscous
  • 500 ml light vegetable stock
  • 1 dessert spoon raz-al-hanout seasoning
  • 7 dessert spoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 large courgette diced
  • 2 cloves garlic fine chopped
  • 1 large orange fine zested

Method

  1. Bring the stock, raz-al-hanout and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the boil. Add the Israeli couscous and simmer for 5 minutes on a very gentle heat, or until just beginning to stick to the pan, remove from heat and cover with lid, leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  2. In a wok gently sauté the red onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 2 minutes, add the garlic and orange zest sauté for 1 further minute. Add the pepper and courgette and sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Finally transfer the couscous to a bowl, add 1x tablespoon olive oil and break the couscous down using fingers until all separated with no lumps. Add this to the sauté diced vegetables and stir fry for 2 minutes, season and add the final tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper and the juice of orange.
  4. Serve immediately or keep for up to 3 days and reheat. Can be served as a salad with fresh herbs (mint or coriander) and feta or pine nuts.

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