Floral garden pasta
I’ve been away on and off for 10 days and things are growing in the garden. I really hate the fruits of my not too hard labour to go to waste and Helen has kindly been looking after 2 furry babies. When I left on Saturday morning I saw some courgette flowers were blooming and so I dropped her a note to use them if she could. Here’s her take on them.
“While Katia has been away, I have been minding her cats and attempting to keep her vegetables alive during the heatwave. Yesterday, I received an order via text message that I was to pick and cook her courgette flowers, and take photos for the blog – “they won’t last until I’m back” she said.
I had heard of the delicacy that is courgette flowers before – they open just briefly, are virtually impossible to buy in the shops and once harvested are often deep-fried, stuffed or baked. My orders however were to sauté them in butter with some parsley, sage, oregano and a tiny bit of garlic, and to serve them with pasta and a small drizzle of lemon juice. When a French lady tells you how to cook something, you’d better listen.
I picked the flowers, which the internet later informed me were all males, as they were on stalks, without fruit (courgettes) attached beneath them, and collected my herbs. Back in my own kitchen, I did what the lady said, to the letter, even resisting my usual urge to use more garlic than is sensible. When I added the flowers, with the pan on a gentle heat, they wilted down into the herby butter. Not wanting to overcook them, I let them just melt until they drooped, which probably took less than 3 minutes. I added them to my fusilli, poured over any remaining herbs and butter from the pan, added a squeeze of lemon and tucked in.
The flowers were delicate in flavour, which made me agree with only using a small amount of garlic, so as not to overpower them. They tasted faintly of courgettes, a little sweet, and with a small but not unpleasant edge of bitterness. I may have to attempt to grow my own next year, if I ever hope to taste them again. Apologies for the poor quality of the photos – I am not someone who is accustomed to taking photos of my dinner!”
As a side note, I think the bitterness was because Helen had kept some of the stalks on.