This simple recipe from Alessandro Gavagna makes an elegant summer dish when courgettes are in abundance. The delicate flowers are quickly fried with sweet red peppers, and plated with tangy grated apple, Montasio cheese and the punchy flavour of horseradish root.

Courgette flowers, apple and horseradish

Chef: Alessandro Gavagna

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Course: Starter

Skill level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 36/40 courgette flowers
  • 1 red pepper, washed and cut into thin strips
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 120g of Montasio cheese
  • 1 horseradish root
  • 50g of butter
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Gently rinse the courgette flowers and then let them drain upside down on some kitchen paper
  2. Melt half the butter in a hot pan, then add the pepper strips and roast until crisp. In a separate pan, sauté the courgette flowers in the remaining butter on a high heat, until they just start to wilt. Season with salt to taste
  3. Grate the apple into the centre of a serving plate to make a mound, then repeat with the cheese on top
  4. Top with the pepper strips, then the wilted courgette flowers, and a final grating of fresh horseradish

The wine

Fresh, crisp, apple acidity and spiciness – describing the elements of this zingy starter from Alessandro Gavagna is extraordinarily similar to the tasting note for the perfect wine match. Which wines spring to mind with that profile? Crisp whites such as Chenin Blanc from the Loire, Vinho Verde from Portugal or even a young Pinot Gris from the Alsace would all be at home with the sautéed courgette flowers. If you would like to carry the Italian theme of the starter through, look for wines such as Falanghina from Campania, Vernaccia di San Gimignano from Tuscany, Verdicchio, Vermentino or to give the dish a sparkle, a glass of Prosecco – Harry Fawkes, Decanter.com

Recipe courtesy of Alessandro Gavagna. Launching soon Great Italian Chefs showcases the best culinary talent that Italy has to offer. Visit Great Italian Chefs for more recipes and features for Italy’s most exciting chefs.

  • Patrick Anthony

    A nice recipe but perhaps, better placed at a time of year when courgette flowers are actually available.