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One gorgeous morning

Courgette Flowers

I’m not a morning person. I never have been. One Christmas morning, when I was 3 years old, my mother came to my bedroom at 11am to find me still in bed. I asked if Santa had come. He had. I didn’t want to get up though so asked her if she would bring me my presents. Shameful! If you’re wondering, she didn’t.

I am trying to become one though, or at least be a little better. I am definitely better than that morning when I was 3! The consequences of my indulgent lifestyle are starting to show, and I am not being paranoid, I was offered a seat on the tube last week. No more empire line tops for me! For the moment at least. So, one bright sunny morning, determined to set the day off nicely, and to fit in a little walk en route to work, I rose at 6.15am (yes: 6.15AM), and set off to work at 7am. 7am. Yes, that’s right.

I got off the tube at Oxford Circus and strolled down towards one of my favourite spots, Fernandez & Wells. The last time I’d been in I had noticed a sign stating that they now do breakfasts and I was curious. So, off I went, a meander through Soho, culminating on Lexington St. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was.

I couldn’t quite believe it, but I was too early! So, I wandered further, then returned at 8am for a delicious crumpet with some kind of pancetta and a fried egg with some Monmouth filter coffee. Sadly I didn’t have my camera so I have no photo to show you my delicious and pretty breakfast. I made a promise to myself to treat myself to breakfasten route to work more often.

Time then to walk off breakfast. I walked to Green Park, then through the park to St James Park, quite near where I work. St James Park has an allotment, and it’s brimful of produce right now. I couldn’t help but stop and take a peak. A number of gardeners were there and one was eating a raw courgette he had just plucked from the ground. I spotted the plant, and spotted all the courgette flowers. SWOOON! I asked what he did with them, sadly there is a lady who gets them already. He asked what I would do with them and I told him I would stuff them with cheese and fry them in a tempura batter. He then kindly gifted me a few and made my morning.

I was chuffed! Lovely breakfast, gorgeous walk in the sun and now a bunch of courgettes with their bounty of glorious yellow flowers! I was so excited. I had never had them fresh from the plant before and had no idea how big the flowers are and that they open so wide. They closed through the day (all the better for stuffing them) and I rushed home gleefully and promptly fried them that evening.

It was very straight forward. As delicately as I could, I removed the stamens, then put some Crozier Blue cheese in half and Knockalara cheese in the other half. I made a standard, simple tempura batter and filled my cast iron pot half way with oil. When a cube of bread fried quickly, turning brown, I knew it was hot enough. I battered the courgettes and fried them for a couple of minutes and served them drizzled with honey (inspired by the beauties at Salt Yard & Dehesa).

They were so good. So good in fact that I promptly found myself a courgette plant which is happily growing in my back garden. My first crop of 2 courgettes will be ready any day now. Delicious! I’ll perfect the recipe and blog it with my own home grown courgettes soon.

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I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

32 Comments

  1. As someone who also has trouble getting up early, but wishes she didn’t, I am incredibly impressed by your dedication -6.15! And it sounds like it was totally worth it, which is very important. And those courgettes look delicious. I may well have to give that a try!

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    • Hello Nora! I assure youb that, despite my best efforts, it’s far from frequent. The courgettes were delicious, I’ve started growing my own now. Yum.

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  2. Wow! These look better than the Salt Yard ones I had recently. I’ll have to try doing something similar with my courgette flowers in the garden. They’re looking magnificent! Husband had to pollinate the courgettes recently with a cotton bud…

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    • Lovely compliment! Thanks Helen. Do, and I look forward to reading about it. Did the pollination work?

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  3. Oh wow they do look pretty! A sunny summery bouquet of courgette goodness :) They’d make a nice decoration, but geez they look good all fried up. I’m so hungry right now I’m chewing on my thumb wishing it was a courgette. Not the same :(

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  4. What a lovely post and a lovely London moment.

    I’m on a diet. I see Helen is too. Lizzie is running. Maybe we should start a club…

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    • Thanks Krista!

      I am terrible at depriving myself, I just don’t know how but I really need to. A club might work :)

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  5. Really lovely post Niamh!! As difficult as it is to actually get out of bed in the mornings, it is oh so worth it, to see london at rest and meet the locals!

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    • Thanks Niamh! :) It really is worth it. I’ve done it a little more frequently. It’s lovely grabbing breakfast in town before work.

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  6. Haha – Krista is right. I have taken up running. The guilt of over-consumption is all-consuming, but rather than eat less I thought I’d just move more.

    That is one of the things I love about London. People can be right moody, but then people can be great and generous.

    I’ve got a few courgette plants but the flowers aren’t anywhere big enough to do anything with. I can’t wait till they are, as I’ve never had courgette flowers before!

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    • Oh, hope you haev some soon as they are so delicious and so bloody hard to find to buy! London can be surprising sometimes, and I love those moments and revel in them :)

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  7. I garden an allotment too, and I must say that those courgettes look tremendous. They’re better small and tasty rather than large and overgrown. I never seem to catch mine with the flowers as glorious as yours.

    Moments like that make this a wonderful world.

    Unexpected riches, all the better for their simplicity.

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  8. One of very favourite things on earth. And I agree with Helen – I tried the Salt Yard ones at Taste and they look nowhere near as good as these. Top stuff.

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  9. I’ve never suceeded at growing courgettes, they always get eaten by various bugs and snails! :(
    I must trying and half inch some courgettes and flowers from someone, you’ve inspired me to go on a hunt!

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    • Mine really don’t get very big but they’re gorgeously sweet when tiny. I hope you have better luck in future!

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  10. I’m with Deepa- have suffered courgette/slug trauma in the recent past! And was really looking forward to some flowers too. Hoepfully a local source might be found.
    I still think 6:15 is the middle of the night though!

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  11. Still wish I lived anywhere for long enough or had a big enough garden for courgettes. Tomatoes and peppers and even the right sort of aubergine, all fine…courgettes? Not yet. One day I’ll be grown up enough. Though…I am *dying* for my tomatoes to ripen. I’ve taken to staring out of the bedroom window (they’re on the kitchen roof…like I said, it’s a *little* house!) and willing them to turn red. Not much luck yet. Maybe a watched tomato never ripens.

    I think I’d do ricotta, lemon and chilli. Possibly with parsley. Jamie does it with mint, but that doesn’t really appeal.

    *jealous*

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    • I have a tiny garden and moved in in April, it’s entirely possible, plus you can grow them from a pot! They would be delicious with that combo, like a little tortelloni. I love itish cheeses and had plenty so chose to go with those.

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  12. What a lovely man to give you the courgettes from his allotment. How much do you want an allotment?! If you get one can we share please???! Good work on getting up early too. The courgette flowers look delish.

    Reply

    • Thanks Helen!

      I know! So sweet. I really want one but can’t get one anywhere, the waiting lists in my area are closed :(

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  13. This was such a lovely post to read before I started work one morning last week. Uplifting! How lovely was the man for giving you the courgettes? When I was walking in Crete years ago a van screeched up next to us and a young guy jumped out of the back to hand us 2 massive oranges which he had just picked. Sometimes people are just lovely aren’t they?

    My solitary courgette plant sprouted a tiny courgette with flower this week. I think I squealed with excitement!

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    • Oh, thanks! He was very sweet. Your Crete story is heart warming too :)

      Hope you’ve had some more flowers to play with since!

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