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.

Coconut Cherry Clafoutis {gluten-free, dairy-free}

Coconut Cherry Clafoutis makes the most of cherry season. It’s a quick dessert, made even more delicious with the use of alternative flours and rich coconut milk which also helps to make the recipe dairy-free.

Coconut Cherry Clafoutis {gluten-free, dairy-free}

Cherry season must surely be my favourite fruit season. I am tearing through punnets of them like nobody’s business and the ones at the farmer’s market at the moment have been especially juicy and sweet. My fingers are constantly painted red with cherry juice but I have no regrets. They are utterly irresistible. The cherries that I’m not throwing down my gullet at every opportunity however have sought sweet solace in this beautiful clafoutis. It’s basically like cherries baked into custard, absolute perfection at the end of a long lazy Sunday barbecue.

Coconut Cherry Clafoutis {gluten-free, dairy-free}

There was a bit of banter on the recipes during my research over whether to pit or not to pit the cherries. It wasn’t much of a battle for me though as I am head over heels for my cherry pitter plus the fear of cracking a tooth whilst I’m supposed to be treating myself seemed unfair punishment. Also we have a toddler so to pit is the child friendly option. It’s true that the cherry pits can add an extra layer of flavour, intensifying the almondy tang of the cherries but I’ve made up for that by using flavourful gluten-free flours, fresh lemon zest, warming vanilla and of course rich coconut milk.

Coconut Cherry Clafoutis {gluten-free, dairy-free}

It’s a lovely quick dessert to knock up on a whim as long as you have your cherries to hand so even though you do have to put the oven on during a balmy summer day, there’s no slaving away beforehand. The cherries are just slung into a baking dish, the custard batter is whisked together in five minutes then it’s baked.

Coconut Cherry Clafoutis {gluten-free, dairy-free}

I love this dessert, warm from the oven bedecked with a handsome dollop of ice cream. Since this is a deliberately dairy-free dessert then I would possibly go for a dairy-free coconut ice cream but it’s up to you. If there is no ice cream to hand, then I can vouch that your Coconut Cherry Clafoutis is perfectly acceptable naked with just a light dusting of icing sugar. It’s really all about the cherries anyway.

Coconut Cherry Clafoutis {gluten-free, dairy-free}

 

Print Recipe
Coconut Cherry Clafoutis {gluten-free, dairy-free}
A delicious dairy-free and gluten-free dessert which makes the most of cherry season
Coconut Cherry Clafoutis {gluten-free, dairy-free}
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35-40 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 500 g cherries
  • 30 g sweet rice flour
  • 20 g gluten-free oat flour
  • 75 g soft light brown sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 medium eggs lightly beaten
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35-40 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 500 g cherries
  • 30 g sweet rice flour
  • 20 g gluten-free oat flour
  • 75 g soft light brown sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 medium eggs lightly beaten
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar
Coconut Cherry Clafoutis {gluten-free, dairy-free}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven and grease a 25cm baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. Remove the stalks from cherries and pit them, then lay them into the greased dish in one layer.
  3. Sift the flours together with the sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and whisk in the eggs until thick and smooth.
  4. In a measuring jug stir together the lemon zest, vanilla extract and coconut milk then pour into the rest of the batter whisking well until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter over the cherries then bake for 35-40 minutes until the clafoutis is set but still a little wobbly in the centre.
  6. Dust the icing sugar over the top and serve warm. Amazing with ice cream.

Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops

The current heatwave in London necessitates the need to cool down by whatever means. We Brits may not built for this weather, but that’s when these Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops come into play.

Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops {vegan}

I love it when a recipe is as intuitive as this one was. I spend ages deciding over which one of my recipes I should post here next. Too long. In fact I spend more time fluctuating between whether I should post my new layer cake, or maybe that granola bar recipe which I have been slaving over this past week than actually making, photographing or writing about any of my recipes. Haven’t I just posted a layer cake last week. Is it really granola bar season? I need to just pick one and go with it.

Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops {vegan}

Or just let the recipe choose me. Yesterday morning Cole and I made these Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops (Ice lollies? Popsicles? I spent a good half hour deliberating over that one too) in 10 minutes as he sat on my kitchen top repeating, “Whatssat?”
“Mango, darling.”
“Mango Mummy…..Whatssat?”
“Mango, darling”
“Mango Mummy…..Whatssat?”
You get the picture.

Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops {vegan}

I had been wanting to make ice lollies for days to cool us both down in this incessant heat. Our tiny victorian railway cottage has taken on the form of a casserole pot, trapping all the heat in and braising us in our own juices. By 3pm after Cole has woken up from his lunchtime nap and I have calmed him down from the injustice of being cooked in his sleep, then spending any time actually doing anything rather than chucking ourselves into the nearest paddling pool is inconceivable.

Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops {vegan}

Yesterday morning though, as I scoured the fridge for breakfast food I came across a long forgotten mango which still looked pretty good. Not a moment later I declared lolly time and with glee Cole watched as I dragged the blender over. He loves helping with the smoothies so blenders get a fine welcome in our kitchen.

I peeled and chopped the mango, prompting the above conversation, threw the flesh into the blender along with a tin of coconut milk for healthy fats, a bit of almond butter for healthy protein and a teaspoon of turmeric, thereby warding off any form of horrible disease which may be winging its way in our future direction.

Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops {vegan}

I forgot momentarily that toddlers don’t understand the concept of patience so Cole was quite indignant that we couldn’t enjoy them right away, and I realised my mistake over making such a hoopla about making lollies, the indignance threated to topple into something more when I extracted his sticky little hands from inside the filled lolly mould. However it was all made better when I poured him out a little leftover smoothie mix into a cup and he could stick his hand into that instead. It was a fine choice making them in the morning though as it meant that by yesterday afternoon when Cole awoke from his nap I earned Mother of the Year by presenting my grumpy little gnome with the perfect icy treat for surviving this blistering heat. I had one too, and we enjoyed them whilst splashing around in the paddling pool.

Print Recipe
Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops
These deliciously cooling smoothie pops are full of good fats, protein and a teaspoon of turmeric.
Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops {vegan}
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
8
Ingredients
  • 1 mango
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
8
Ingredients
  • 1 mango
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops {vegan}
Instructions
  1. Peel the mango and cut the flesh into rough cubes.
  2. Place in a blender with the rest of the ingredients and whizz until smooth.
  3. Pour carefully into ice lolly moulds and freeze overnight or at least 8 hours.

If you want smoothie pops that look like mine then you can buy the Norpro Frozen Ice Pop Maker from Amazon. I have been using mine for two summers now and love it. It comes with some wooden sticks when you need more they are also easy to buy from Amazon.

If you want to know what blender we use which provokes such a raucous response from my son then it’s the KitchenAid Artisan Blender. I smashed the glass jug once so we were without it for a couple of months before I got my act together to buy a new one. The cheapo blender we used in the meantime did not compare. I was so happy to get my blender back. I’ve had it for years and use it nearly every day.

The images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these links to buy your ice lolly maker or blender then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund my shopping list so if you do click through then many thanks!!

Pomegranate Iced Tea Lollies

Pomegranate Iced Tea Lollies

Iced tea is not a big thing in the UK which baffles me considering we are a nation of avid tea drinkers. I, on the other hand, am a staunch advocate of iced tea and I shall hereby declare it an imperative part of my British summertime.

Last year a cold jug of iced tea stashed in the fridge became my lifeline during the June heat wave, which I can recall so precisely as it coincided with both the first week of Wimbledon and the first week the care of my two week old son was solely entrusted to me when Luke had the gall to return to work. It was a scary scorching time. I got through the stifling temperatures by holing Cole and I up in our breezy bedroom, windows open, multiple desk fans blazing and guzzling my ice cold tea to the gentle sounds of tennis balls popping back and forth via my laptop at the end of the bed.

Pomegranate Iced Tea Lollies

This year though I have absolutely nailed the iciest tea around by sticking it in the freezer in lolly form. I couldn’t have chosen a better time either as the temperature shot up yesterday in London quite unannounced. I bought my ice lolly mould at the beginning of summer last year but after bunging it on top of the fridge and forgetting about it whilst I sorted out having a baby I have only just begun to experiment with it. I bought one on a nostalgic whim remembering when I was young how we would pour fresh orange juice into the moulds on sultry evenings ready for as soon as the summer sun rose the next day. Such an amazing treat as a child and since Cole has just begun to steal ice cubes whenever I open the freezer door in his presence I think I need to think about more baby friendly ice lollies to play around with.

I would say though that these pomegranate iced tea lollies appeal more to an adult sensibility. They contain caffeine for a start which I understand isn’t the best thing to give your one year old but they are also not too sweet, as this recipe eschews any sort of refined sugar. Instead I have plumped for the sour sweetness of pomegranate molasses rounded out with a touch of honey. These flavours are completely in my zone. I bought my pomegranate molasses back when it became trendy a few years ago and dashed a bit in this and that, not entirely convinced. Now, though I am going through bottles of the stuff every month as I drizzle it over salads, include it in any of my current marinades and use it to flavour buttercreams. It’s sweet but not sweet and that is definitely my favourite kind of sweet.

Pomegranate Iced Tea Lollies

These pomegranate iced tea lollies are the perfect antidote to the summer heat and definitely take iced tea to the extreme.

Pomegranate Iced Tea Lollies

makes 10 lollies

1 tablespoon tea leaves (I used orange pekoe)
1 litre freshly boiled water
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon honey
handful of pomegranate seeds

  1. Place the tea leaves in a large jug and pour over the freshly boiled water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain the tea into another large jug, discarding the leaves and stir in the pomegranate molasses and honey until completely dissolved.
  3. Place the jug in the fridge and leave for a few hours until the tea has completely chilled.
  4. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds evenly into the bottom of your ice lolly moulds then pour the tea over the top. Put the wooden lolly sticks into your moulds and put the top on then place in the freezer for at least 24 hours for the lollies to completely freeze before removing from the moulds.
Pomegranate Iced Tea Lollies

Strawberry Honey Cake

A beautiful summer inspired Strawberry Honey Cake.

Strawberry Honey Cake.
It was an exciting moment this week when I found the first of the British strawberries in the supermarket. I love their newly prolonged season, especially since I never get bored of a strawberry. As Spring moves into Summer the taste of the strawberries evolve meaning you get a little bit of something different as the seasons progress.

Strawberry Honey Cake

These strawberries I took home this week were sweet and juicy. It was excellent forward thinking on my part that I had picked up a couple of punnets as the first one was unashamedly eaten during the prepping stages of baking this cake.

Strawberry Honey Cake

I couldn’t help but pair this cake with honey, I have been collecting local honey from all the little farm shops and farmer’s markets I have been visiting these past few months so I have quite the larder full. I chose a light clear floral honey for the cake and baked it into the batter along with some sour cream to add density and offset the sweetness. I then topped the cake in the same way, a simple buttercream which I then imbued with more of the honey and sour cream.

Strawberry Honey Cake

Strawberry Honey Cake is a perfect teatime treat, enjoyed out in the garden with the distant sound of a lawnmower buzzing in the background. Although it did lead me to contemplate what a sorry state my garden is actually in at the moment and fret over the grassless lawn and ghostly pots of long gone plants so it wasn’t the perfect idyll.

Strawberry Honey Cake

I regret not drizzling my finished cake with honey as well before I took the photos, the idea only came to me as I was tucking into the cake afterwards. The extra drizzle really lifted the strawberries and accentuated the honey so make sure you don’t forget it like me.

Print Recipe
Strawberry Honey Cake
A beautiful summer inspired Strawberry Honey Cake.
Strawberry Honey Cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60-70 minutes
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
  • 170 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 g honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 270 g plain flour *for gluten-free see below
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g sour cream
  • 150 g strawberries hulled and chopped into quarters
Honey Buttercream:
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 165 g icing sugar
  • 50 g honey
  • 50 g sour cream
  • pinch of salt
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60-70 minutes
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
  • 170 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 g honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 270 g plain flour *for gluten-free see below
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g sour cream
  • 150 g strawberries hulled and chopped into quarters
Honey Buttercream:
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 165 g icing sugar
  • 50 g honey
  • 50 g sour cream
  • pinch of salt
Strawberry Honey Cake
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line and grease a 9 inch loaf tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together for a few minutes until pale and fluffy
  3. Add the eggs one at a time until fully combined.
  4. Pour in the honey and mix well, then the vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour to the rest of the cake batter, mixing well. Then follow with half the sour cream, mix it in then another 1/3 of the flour, the rest of the sour cream then the last third of the flour. Mix until the batter has just combined.
  7. Pour nearly all of the cake batter into the baking tin.
  8. Puncture the batter with the chopped strawberries in a single layer before spreading on the very last of the cake batter to cover the strawberries.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for 60-70 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack completely before icing.
  10. For the honey buttercream beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  11. Pour in the honey, sour cream and a pinch of salt and mix until completely combined.
  12. Using a palette knife spread the buttercream thickly on top of the cake.
  13. Decorate with strawberries and drizzled honey.
Recipe Notes

* For a gluten-free version of the cake, substitute the plain flour for a blend of:
60g sweet rice flour
45g oat flour
35g millet flour
20g potato starch
15g tapioca flour

Red Velvet Ice Cream

This Red Velvet Ice Cream takes all the personality of a red velvet cake and rockets it into summer. Velvety, tangy with plenty of cocoa kick.

Red Velvet Ice Cream

I first tried red velvet ice cream a couple of years ago at Taste of London. It was definitely one of the most popular desserts of the day as everywhere you looked people were clutching at cones stacked high with beautifully scarlet ice cream. I don’t know what it is about red food but it just looks terrifically inviting and we immediately scouted out where people were getting their ice creams from and joined the long long queue to get our own cones. It’s just as well that I can’t remember which restaurant was offering this ice cream as when we first took our first licks it was incredibly disappointing. Stunningly tasteless.

There are a few people who will probably shrug at this as red velvet cakes often seem to be more pomp than circumstance, relying on the food colouring for effect and the only taste really deriving from the cream cheese icing that always adorns them. However, I heartily disagree for I feel that red velvet cake is one of the most subtly complex cakes, blessed with the richness of cocoa, a hint of vanilla and light and tangy with the buttermilk. If you think the cake is tasteless then you are getting your red velvets from the wrong source my friend.

So, I was thinking about this bland red velvet ice cream, and how unfortunate it is when the taste of something doesn’t marry with the beauty of it. It’s been nagging at me for a while and I have been keen to improve my experience of red velvet ice cream and give it a go myself.

So I eventually arrived at this recipe after a lot of failed attempts and can decree that this ice cream really is what red velvet ice cream should taste like. It has a creamy custard base but the quantity of buttermilk used gives the ice cream such a delicately bright flavour. However, it’s not the overriding element and the vanilla and chocolately background gives the ice cream depth and its incredible moreishness.

This ice cream is just wonderful by itself and the glorious ruby of it will pair beautifully with the colours of the season. You are taking the ice cream into another dimension though if you think of serving it with a good wodge of chocolate fudge cake, the ice cream will cut through the richness and I swear will leave you floundering for words.

Print Recipe
Red Velvet Ice Cream
This Red Velvet Ice Cream takes all the personality of a red velvet cake and rockets it into summer. Velvety, tangy with plenty of cocoa kick.
Red Velvet Ice Cream
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
2 pints
Ingredients
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 450 ml double cream
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 35 g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • tablespoons red food colouring
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 300 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 8 hours
Servings
2 pints
Ingredients
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 450 ml double cream
  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 35 g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • tablespoons red food colouring
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 300 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Red Velvet Ice Cream
Instructions
  1. Heat the caster sugar, double cream and cocoa powder in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Make sure the cocoa has completely dissolved then remove from the heat.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and food colouring.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until thick, then pour in the red velvet mixture in a thin stream, whisking all the while until everything has been mixed together.
  4. Pour the red custard into a bain marie, then re-heat. Bring the custard up to 85°C but do not boil.
  5. As soon as it has reached the correct temperature, pour the custard into a bowl set into an ice bath and carry on whisking until the custard cools.
  6. Strain the custard into a large jug and set cling film over the surface to avoid a skin forming. Place in the fridge overnight to chill.
  7. The next day remove the custard from the fridge and add the buttermilk and lemon juice. Pour into your ice cream machine and churn for 20 minutes until the ice cream is a thick milkshake consistency.
  8. Decant into tubs and place in the fridge overnight to finish the set.