One thing I have always wanted to do was grow my own produce, especially the kind I know are only available in chaotic backstreet markets of the Med. It angered me when friends who grew courgettes threw the flowers away – my protests were met with confusion. ‘Why would you throw them away? It’s the best part of the plant!’ . Then I realised they’d probably never eaten them deep fried or wilted in tagliolini.
So with thanks to Seeds of Italy I will get to grow courgette flowers myself by means of a plant which produces only the flower and not the fruit; flowers known in Italy as fiore di zucca, or sciurilli in Napoletano. And thanks to Friends of Puglia and one of my oldest friends, Sarah (affectionately named Pepper), I have also acquired seeds of friarielli (peppery greens otherwise known as cime di rapa or turnip tops), Italian flat leaf parsley, wild fennel and peperoni verdi Napoletani.
Yesterday on returning home I pulled back the curtain and found that nature has breathed life into my tiny little seeds. To eat juicy deep-fried courgette flowers I wont be limited to the bancarelle of Pignasecca, Napoli, anymore. At the rate they’ve sprung up, I wont have to wait long at all to eat sciurilli because they’ll be growing from pots on my very own patio.
Here’s to new life and looking forward to a tasty summer table spread.