January 14, 2021

Recipe: Crispy zucchini flowers with whipped feta & smoked honey

As the bees buzz and the flowers bloom, bring the garden into the kitchen with this delight of the season.

Crispy zucchini flowers with whipped feta & smoked honey
serves 4 as a starter

8 zucchini flowers, stamens removed
vegetable oil for frying
sea salt

for batter
½ cup plain flour
½ cup cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
sparkling water, chilled

for whipped feta
200g danish feta, room temperature
100g cream cheese, room temperature

for smoked honey
125g honey
¼ cup white rice (any variety will do)
¼ cup tea leaves
2 tbsp brown sugar

to serve
dukkah, store bought
lemon wedges

For smoked honey, completely line a wok with aluminium foil and place the rice, tea and sugar in the base. Place a circular wire rack on top and place the honey (poured into a shallow ramekin) on the rack. Cover tightly with a lid or aluminium foil. Place over high heat for 2 minutes, or until it begins to smoke. Then turn down the heat to medium and allow to smoke for 15 minutes (be sure to turn on the exhaust fan). Alternatively, use a small smoker readily available from camping stores.

For whipped feta, place crumbled feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until light and airy.

Fill a large, heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil to a depth of 5cm and heat over medium heat to 180C. Meanwhile, sift flour, cornflour and baking powder into a medium bowl. Whisk through enough sparkling water to create a thin batter, allowing some lumps to remain. Holding the flowers by the stem, dip the flower portion into the batter, gently scraping off any excess and place into the hot oil. Cook in batches until golden and crisp. Allow to drain on a wire rack set over a baking tray. Season immediately with sea salt.

To serve, place a mound of whipped feta on a serving plate and drizzle over the smoked honey. Place the zucchini flowers alongside and garnish with dukkah. Provide lemon wedges to squeeze over.

This recipe first appeared in the October 2020 issue of SALIFE magazine.

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