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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.330 – Zucchini (courgette) olive oil loaf cake

    Posted on August 1st, 2016 charlotte No comments

    I fed this classic American loaf cake surreptitiously to a courgette-hating 11-year-old who gobbled it down and asked for a second slice. It really is delicious and ideal for summer outdoor eating.

    This version from Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery in east London uses cardamom and ginger root, others prefer nutmeg and cinnamon.

    It’s worth noting that our veg box courgettes don’t need salting to leach out the excess liquid, as they’re small and freshly picked. If you buy your vegetables from a supermarket though, beware.

    Makes 1 900g loaf

    Preparation time: 20 minutes (longer if you salt the grated courgettes)
    Cooking time: 50 minutes
    500g courgettes, grated
    [1 tsp salt]
    butter, for greasing
    280g wholemeal flour
    ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    ½ tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp ground cardamom
    200g olive oil
    200g light brown sugar
    3 large eggs
    1 tbsp vanilla
    70g knob of ginger, peeled and grated (around 50g after peeling)

    [Grate the courgette and toss with the salt. Put in a colander over a bowl, and allow the liquid to leach from the courgettes for 3 hours, or overnight. You will lose around 150g in liquid.]

    Set the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Butter and line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with parchment.

    Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cardamom together. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and ginger together. Add the drained courgette. Stir in the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.

    Tip into the prepared loaf tin, and bake for around 50 minutes, or until the bread is golden and springs back to the touch.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.234 – River Cafe’s Grated zucchini

    Posted on June 30th, 2014 charlotte No comments

    A really simple way of preparing courgettes as a side dish. It’s from the classic Italian collection of recipes in River Cafe Cook Book Easy. Quite frankly, it doesn’t make much difference if you omit the standing time.
    courgette-camel csa-260610
    Serves: 4
    Preparation/cooking time: 15 minutes  (+30 mins standing time)

    1kg courgettes
    ½ a nutmeg, grated
    2 tbs parsley leaves, finely chopped
    1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    2 tbs extra virgin oil
    Salt and pepper

    Wash the courgettes, dry, then grate them on the large holes of a cheese grater. Place in a colander, spread out and sprinkle with salt.

    Leave for half an hour to release water, then wrap in a clean towel and wring out the water. Heat the olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan, add the courgettes, nutmeg and garlic, and season. Cover and cook on a medium heat for three minutes. Add the parsley and stir to combine. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.195 – Pasta and zucchini (courgettes) alla carbonara

    Posted on July 19th, 2013 charlotte No comments

    Another quick, easy vegetarian dish for those of us who don’t feel much like cooking on a hot day. It comes from a delightful Rome-based food blog – Rachel Eats. Make it with some Cornish free-range eggs and the courgettes and basil in Camel CSA’s veg boxes this week.

    Rachel says this is “a quiet and familiar lunch” which she makes a lot. If the courgettes have flowers attached, they should be washed, patted dry and torn into strips before cooking.

    Serves 2
    Preparation/cooking time: 10 minutes

    200g good dried spaghetti, linguine or fettucine
    2 tbsp olive oil
    (optional – 60g pancetta or guanciale, diced)
    a small red onion peeled and cut in thin half moons
    2 medium courgettes, julienned (cut into matchsticks)
    2 large fresh eggs
    20g freshly grated parmesan
    20g freshly grated pecorino
    freshly ground black pepper
    a handful of fresh basil leaves
    good extra virgin olive oil and more grated parmesan for on top

    “While your pasta is cooking you fry your onion until golden brown (if you are using guanciale you fry that first and then add the onion and fry for a couple more minutes.) Then you add the fine strips of courgette (and courgette flowers), stir and allow them to wilt. While the wilting is happening you beat 2 whole eggs with some finely grated parmasan and pecorino and plenty of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl.

    “Now, drain the pasta but save a little of the cooking water, then tip the hot pasta and a small ladleful of the reserved water into the pan with the onion and courgette – toss everything together. Next add the egg mixure to the pan along with the ripped basil leaves, remove the pan from the heat and stir everything together firmly but gently so the sauce thickens.”