The food blogosphere is currently at fever pitch over what to do with a courgette glut. So, not one to strike out independently, here is my own courgette glut:
What’s that you say? It’s not very gluttish? Well hang fire, judgey-pants, because there’s more:
Okay, okay, it’s probably fair to say that my courgettes are not glutting this year. I honestly don’t know what their problem is. They get sun, they get watered every night, they get worm tea when I remember. Ungrateful is the word for it. I read something the other day about picking the flowers to encourage fruiting but I just don’t know. Any Percy Throwers and Charlie Dimmocks out there, feel free to advise accordingly.
Anyway, it so happened this week that my vegetable box was looking gluttable on the courgette front so I decided to do something suitably cheesy with them. I also thought I might be able to earn some parenting stripes if I could persuade my offspring to eat some courgette and so decided upon a version of this recipe for Courgette (Courgette, look you, not Zucchini) and Cheese Loaf, which I liked for its big cheesy lumps.
1 tsp salt
225g plain flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp paprika
80ml olive oil
2 tbsp water
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
80g Cheddar cheese, cubed
Take the ends off the courgettes and grate them coarsely into a colander. Mix the salt through thoroughly and leave them to drain over a sink. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease a loaf tin with butter and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.
Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and paprika (I used smoked paprika but in retrospect this was a mistake as its flavour dominated too much).
Beat the eggs and whisk them with the oil and water until combined and frothy.
Squeeze any excess water out of the courgettes and add them, with the thyme, to the egg mixture and combine. Stir this wet mixture into the dry ingredients until combined (don’t be too vigorous or your loaf will be too dense). Season. Pour half of the resulting batter into the loaf tin and poke half of the cheese pieces into the batter.
Pour over the rest of the batter and stud the top with the rest of the cheese. Bake for about 45 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Cheese-lovers both, the children immediately swarmed around the loaf. Both were given a slice in a bowl. The first to return was boy the older who gave it back to me with a diplomatic ‘I don’t like it. But that’s okay Mummy because we’re all different.’ Boy the younger was more blunt as he returned his bowl: ‘Bread, Mummy. No!’ I am starting to suspect courgette sabotage may be at the root of things…