Last weekend, I made this tasty savoury courgette loaf, slightly modified from a recipe in Homes and Gardens magazine. The original recipe used butter and milk, rather than sunflower spread and rice milk which I substituted to make this mostly dairy-free (besides the cheddar).
70g sunflower spread, cubed
500g courgettes, grated
2 tsp salt
450g self-raising white flour, sifted
2 tsp bakingpowder, sifted
Large handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped, reserving a few sprigs
2 large eggs, beaten with a fork
400ml rice milk
75g strong Cheddar cheese, grated
Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5 (190°C, 375°F).
Line the long sides and base of a 2lb 20x13x9cm loaf tin with non-stick baking paper. Grease the unlined short ends. To remove the excess liquid from the grated courgettes, mix with the salt and pile into a nylon sieve set over a bowl. Leave to drip for 10 minutes, then squeeze the courgette until dry. Discard the salty juices.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, parsley and spread. Add the courgette shreds. Whisk together the eggs and milk and add the cheese, then pour into the flour mix and stir with a knife to create a dense sticky batter; ensure there are no dry pockets of flour but do not overmix. Turn into the lined loaf tin and press in extra parsley sprigs on top, if liked. Bake for 20 minutes, then raise heat to Gas Mark 6 (200°C, 400°F) and bake for 20 minutes more until the top is golden and a skewer inserted at an angle comes out clean. Leave the loaf in the turned off oven for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack before turning out, running a knife around the edge of the tin to loosen.
I found that the bread needed quite a bit more cooking time than in the recipe before the skewer came out clean, and it was still a little moist just above the bottom crust but that was probably due to me being too impatient for lunch to leave the loaf in the oven for the ten minutes. I cut the crust while the bread was still piping hot, and topped it with grilled bacon and sliced tomatoes from the garden – delicious.
The rest of the loaf disappeared quickly over the course of the weekend, proving popular with visitors either on its own or to dip into the fresh batch of pumpkin curry that we made.