Courgette Relish

This Courgette Relish is my favourite way to get the most out of a bumper courgette crop. It is an easy relish to knock together and has endless uses from burger toppings, barbecue accompaniments or the grace within a cheese sandwich. I love its tangy sweetness flavoured with turmeric, mustard seeds and nutmeg.

Courgette Relish

This recipe is a re-post of a classic recipe which I first posted on the blog in 2014. It’s courgette season and I’m about to make my annual batch of this Courgette Relish as our kitchen is bereft without it. I wanted to refresh the post with new images and contemplated just doing that and slotting it back into the archive but I love this recipe so much and thought the new photos deserved a bit of a fanfare too. So here are my original words back from 2014.

Courgette Relish

Certain recipes come into your life in different ways, and this one was begged and pleaded for after we fell in love with a jar of this courgette relish. Our friend who had bestowed this precious gift on us couldn’t quite remember where she got the original recipe from; she thought maybe The Times, but when it was passed along the quantities were in cups so perhaps it originated across the pond. I wish I could thank whomever came up with it as it really is one of the staples of our larder and this time of year I make it in bulk when the courgettes are proudly in bloom. A large quantity is a must as one of the worst things to befall our kitchen is when the last jar is finished in March and we have to wait months for the next glut of courgettes.

Courgette Relish | Stroud Green Larder

The beauty of the relish is that although its natural season to be brought to the table is summer when the barbecues hit, its amiability knows no bounds. The obvious use for this courgette relish is on a burger and really you can get no better topping. The flavour is sweet and piquant with the gentle pop of mustard seeds. However, it can also accompany the sausages that are grilled on bonfire night to great effect and a laden Christmas buffet replete with roast ham and turkey pies.

Courgette Relish | Stroud Green Larder

Courgette Relish | Stroud Green Larder

Courgette Relish | Stroud Green Larder

Courgette Relish | Stroud Green Larder

Courgette Relish | Stroud Green Larder

During the rest of the year it’s included in lunch staples such as toasted sandwiches or brought along to spring picnics. The courgette relish pairs naturally with cheese and I got into a bit of a habit earlier this year of stirring it into a cheddar and tuna salad along with a bit of olive oil for dressing.

If you come round to my house it’s more or less guaranteed you will leave with a jar of something homemade, and the wise visitor will make a request for the courgette relish, after all that’s how it came to us in the first place.

Courgette Relish

Print Recipe
Courgette Relish
A sweet tangy relish which goes with anything and everything.
Courgette Relish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
8 200ml jars
Ingredients
  • 1.5 kg courgettes julienned, about 12
  • 1 kg spanish onions grated, about 4
  • 2 red peppers sliced very thinly, then quartered lengthways
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1.5 kg granulated sugar
  • 925 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons turmeric
  • 1.5 tablespoons white mustard seeds
  • 3 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 3 teaspoons nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon ground white pepper
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
8 200ml jars
Ingredients
  • 1.5 kg courgettes julienned, about 12
  • 1 kg spanish onions grated, about 4
  • 2 red peppers sliced very thinly, then quartered lengthways
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1.5 kg granulated sugar
  • 925 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons turmeric
  • 1.5 tablespoons white mustard seeds
  • 3 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 3 teaspoons nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon ground white pepper
Courgette Relish
Instructions
  1. Place the courgettes, onions, peppers and salt in a large preserving pan, cover with water and leave to stand overnight.
  2. The next day drain and rinse well to remove the excess salt.
  3. Return the courgette mix to the preserving pan and add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Decant into sterilised jars*. It is ready to eat straightaway or you can store in a cool dark place until needed for up to a year.
Recipe Notes

*To sterilise the jars place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes with a splash of vinegar. I don’t sterilise my lids in the oven as they tend to ruin.

Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing

This Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing distils the very essence of summer baking.

This Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish

It boasts a wonderfully light sponge with a tender crumb thanks to the combination of rice and oat flour which not only makes this bad boy gluten-free but also lends it a toasted, coming to the end of high summer, campfire in the evenings vibe. It is iced with a creamy lemon mascarpone with only a mere whisper of sugar, but plenty of zesty citrus as a perfect compliment to the delicate courgette flavour. A perfect treat for our heady August days when cake might otherwise seem too indulgent.

This Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish

This cake was inspired by the bountiful mountain of courgette at the farmer’s market last week, all shapes and sizes in varying shades of green. I have been fancying a courgette cake for a few weeks now and just like that it all fell into place.

These days courgette nests proudly in my vegetable drawer. At one time considered a boring watery addition to Sunday roasts, it dragged everything down with its mopey presence. Then I started using it raw in salads, roasted in garlicky olive oil and finally as courgetti. Now courgette is celebrated and embraced in our family, an absolute must in our weekly shop but it’s at its very best right now. Like any vegetable you have to know how to get the best out of it and boiling it to oblivion is never the answer. In my house, cake is the more obvious solution.

This Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish

And this courgette oatmeal cake with lemon mascarpone icing is my new favourite family friendly bake. It’s a complete stunner and despite making and eating it more times this week than is really acceptable for someone who is on a never ending mission to lose her baby weight, I haven’t come to resent it once. That is because the batter comes together in moments, baking up a dream so it is ready, iced and on your fork before you can change your mind about having an afternoon slice of cake.

This Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish

The sponge is so light thanks to the power partnership of rice and oat flour. If you can’t find oat flour then by all means whizz up some oats very finely in your food processor, the results will be the same and oat flour can be quite pricey. Rice flour though is more accessible these days and is an absolute must in my larder, not just for gluten-free baking. I intend to post a lot more using rice flour since I am having a little love affair with it at the moment but having just had this particular delicacy for lunch here is one of my favourite uses for it.

This Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish

The courgette cake is then carefully spiced with a touch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, not too much to overpower but just to add soft flavour.

The icing feels like a bit of a cheat as it is just so easy and unlike most icings you don’t even need a mixer, just whipping together with a wooden spoon is enough. It barely uses any sugar, a tip I garnered from my neighbour after being bowled over by how creamy and cheesy her cream cheese icing was. She confessed that she had only used a smattering of sugar to make it more child friendly. However I found without the addition of butter and hardly any sugar, the icing then becomes all about the texture and flavour rather than a sickly counterpoint.

This Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish

This idea works so well with this mascarpone icing to which I’ve only grated in the zest of 1 lemon and added 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and then a couple of tablespoons of natural yoghurt to help with the consistency and add tang. It’s so delicious that you can happily eat with a spoon all day long. Actually I don’t know if that makes this icing more dangerous but I do know that it is simply dreamy with the courgette oatmeal cake.

This Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish
Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing
This cake makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish. Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Carrot Spice Cake in Flavor Flours
This Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
16 slices
Ingredients
  • 400 g light muscovado sugar
  • 300 ml light olive oil or other flavourless oil
  • 4 eggs about 200g
  • 240 g rice flour
  • 80 g oatflour or oats finely ground to a powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 340 g grated courgettes (about 4) squeezed to remove excess moisture
For the Icing
  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 lemon grated zest
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
16 slices
Ingredients
  • 400 g light muscovado sugar
  • 300 ml light olive oil or other flavourless oil
  • 4 eggs about 200g
  • 240 g rice flour
  • 80 g oatflour or oats finely ground to a powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 340 g grated courgettes (about 4) squeezed to remove excess moisture
For the Icing
  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 lemon grated zest
This Gluten-Free Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line a grease a 13x9x4 inch baking tin.
  2. In a large bowl (or stand mixer) beat together the sugar, olive oil and eggs until smooth and thick.
  3. Add all the other ingredients in, except for the courgette, and beat until everything is fully mixed together.
  4. Finally stir in the courgette until evenly dispersed and pour into the prepared baking tin.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, checking after 20 minutes and covering with foil if the cake seems to be browning too much.
  6. When ready, leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes to settle before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely before icing.
  7. To make the icing beat the mascarpone together with the yoghurt, icing sugar and lemon zest until light and smooth and spread onto the top of the cooled courgette cake with a palette knife.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

Today I was very excited to make a silky warming butternut squash soup.  It was exactly what I was hankering for.  I took the stock out of the freezer last night, leered over the butternut in eager anticipation and fished out the chipotle from the very back of the cupboard.  I used a ladder and everything.  It was all systems go.  And then I smashed my kitchenaid blender.  I still don’t understand how as the glass on those things is about an inch thick.  But it briefly kissed the surface of my ceramic sink and shattered like the fragile heart of a tween.

So, basically, you are not getting soup and I’m getting a new blender.

courgette and aubergine3So stepping up to the plate is one of my absolute faves.  It’s probably the one I make the most often of a weekday.  So easy to throw together in the roasting tray straight after work.  Whack it in the oven, have a sit down with a glass of sparkling water, as it’s January, then serve with anything you like.  I have it the most with grilled lamb chops.  It might also be even better the next day taken out of the fridge and brought up to room temperature to have at your desk for lunch, I would never bother re-heating this.  I have eaten it with leftovers, with roast chicken, with garlicky yoghurt drizzled generously over and taken it to picnics.
courgette and aubergineDue to the amount of oil that the aubergine soaks up it’s very rich and so you don’t need a great deal, not that I usually let that stop me.

Oh, and the best thing about this dish… it doesn’t require a blender.

Roasted aubergine and courgette2Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

2 aubergines
2 courgettes
60ml olive oil
¾ tsp sumac
10g mint leaves, roughly chopped
10g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
10g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Wedge of lemon

  1. Top and tail the aubergine and courgette and then cut each one in half widthways. Halve each again lengthways and then cut into 16 wedges in total.
  2. Toss the wedges in the olive oil, sumac and plenty of seasoning and place in an oven pre-heated to 180°C. Roast for 30-40 mins, checking halfway through to give a good mix around.
  3. Once the aubergine and courgette are soft, lightly browned and slightly crispy at the corners then remove from the oven. Mix together with the herbs, squeeze the lemon wedge over and serve.