Macadamia nut cheese-filled courgette flowers on a white plate

Macadamia nut cheese-filled courgette flowers

  • makes 8
  • Easy

Check out Bettina Campolucci Bordi's filled courgette flowers for a brilliant vegan dish to serve at events or dinner parties

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Try this recipe for courgette flowers, then check out more best ever vegan recipes and vegan dinner party ideas.

Bettina Campolucci Bordi says: “This has become such a classic. I love cooking these filled flowers for events or dinner parties. Courgette (zucchini) flowers are stunning and make the perfect vessels for a variety of delicious fillings.”

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Ingredients

  • courgette flowers 8
  • 
olive oil for frying, plus a little extra

GARLIC AND HERB MACADAMIA CHEESE

  • macadamia nuts 280g
  • lemon 1 zested, 2 tbsp juice
  • snipped chives 2 tbsp
  • garlic clove 1, grated

BATTER

  • cornflour 50 g
  • plain flour 35g, or rice flour, for a gluten-free version
  • chickpea flour 2 tbsp
  • baking powder 1 tsp
  • sparkling water 120ml

TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)

  • spring greens
  • lemon-flavoured mayonnaise
  • snipped chives

Method

  • Step 1

    To make the macadamia cheese, first prepare the macadamia nuts by soaking them in a bowl of water for 2 hours – or even better do this the night before. Drain the nuts and tip into a food processor or blender along with 160ml water and blitz until smooth (if you are using a small, hand-held blender, then blitz several times until smooth.) As this is a soft cheese, the texture can be slightly bitty, which I personally love. If you are using a high-speed blender, make sure you don’t overheat or overblend. You want the texture to be ricotta-like.

  • Step 2

    Once the nuts are blended, transfer to a clean glass container. Add the lemon juice and zest, chives, garlic, and some salt and pepper, then mix well.

  • Step 3

    Use a metal chef’s ring for this next step, if you have one. Alternatively, you can use a small bowl lined with clingfilm. If you’re using a chef’s ring, place some baking paper under the ring and grease the inside with some oil. Fill the chef’s ring or the bowl to the top with the cheese mixture.

  • Step 4

    Chill the cheese for a few hours to set and let the flavours marry together. The cheese will keep for up to seven days in the fridge.

  • Step 5

    Put the cheese mixture in a piping bag, fill the courgette flowers two-thirds full and gently twist the tops to close them up. Once the flowers have been filled, make the batter by mixing all the ingredients together.

  • Step 6

    Heat a good amount of olive oil in a pan. Gently dip the courgette flowers in the batter and then shallow-fry over a medium heat until browned and crispy. Once fried, put the flowers on kitchen paper to drain and serve immediately with some spring greens and a lemon-flavoured mayonnaise with a few snipped chives stirred in, if you like.

Cook's tip: If you would like to age the cheese, transfer the blended macadamia to a bowl (not made from metal or it won’t ferment), add the powder from half a probiotic capsule and mix well. Cover with a muslin cloth (cheesecloth) and keep outside the fridge for 24 hours to ferment. After 24 hours, the cheese will be slightly acidic in taste and have a thicker consistency.

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