"This tempura batter gets really crisp and works
really well with the garlic-scented soft almond purée in the
flowers," says Andreas Papadakis. "It's the perfect snack for a
18zucchini flowers with stem attached, stamens removed, ends trimmedVegetable oil, for deep-frying150 gmrice flourPinch of baking powder225 mlchilled sparkling mineral waterSeasoned plain flour, for dustingAïoli3eggs1 tbspwhite wine vinegar1garlic clove, crushed500 ml (2 cups)vegetable oilAlmond purée125 gmday-old sourdough, crusts removed150 mlolive oil125 gmalmond meal1small garlic clove, finely gratedJuice of 1 lemon, or to taste
For aïoli, blend eggs, vinegar, garlic and 1 tsp sea salt in a blender on high for a minute. Add oil very slowly while the blender is running and whisk until thick and emulsified. Season to taste and refrigerate until required.
For almond purée, soak bread in 250ml water for 30 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid,
reserving 2 tbsp. Process olive oil, almond meal, garlic and soaked bread in a blender until smooth, adding reserved soaking liquid to loosen if necessary. Season to taste with lemon juice and salt.
Gently open zucchini flowers and place a heaped teaspoonful of almond purée in each. Gently twist the tops of petals together to close.
Heat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 180°C. Combine rice flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl and gradually whisk in sparkling water until smooth. Batter should be made just before frying – it will thicken if it sits.
Place seasoned flour in a bowl. Lightly dust flowers in flour and dip into the batter, shaking off excess. Fry in batches until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes; be careful, hot oil may spit). Drain on paper towels and serve hot with aïoli.
2011 Gembrook Hill “Blanc de Blanc”, Yarra Valley. Coming from one of the cooler sites in the Yarra, this sparkling wine made with a 100 per cent chardonnay spends six years on lees before being disgorged with very little dosage. It’s dry, shows great acid, fine mousse and lovely yeasty characters from the lees contact.