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


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.

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