This summer I have completely embraced gardening. Moving out of London means more affordable housing and a halved commute, with the added bonus of our own patch of of green space. The second we moved in I started reading gardening books and planning, set on growing as many edible plants in pots as possible (it’s a rented house so I can’t dig up the lawn and plant potatoes, sadly).
Tomatoes, peppers, runner beans, salad and herbs I coaxed from seed into fully grown plants which have been providing me with a delicious reward for the last month or so. The crowning glory? My gorgeous courgette plants. One very late frost saw me running into the garden late at night to bring them inside for protection, and one succumbed to the cold. They survived being over watered and under watered, as I worked out how best to keep them alive. At first the flowers were reward enough in themselves, and then the fruit began to ripen. We grilled ribbons of the courgettes and ate it with basil and olive oil, grated it into daals, and chopped it into salads.
I whipped out this old National Trust recipe from a while ago to further celebrate my gorgeous homegrown courgettes. Grated into the cake they give moisture and a subtle green flavour, whilst the lime zest is zingy and fresh. An icing with lime juice and yogurt stops anything from being too sweet, and a sprinkling of flower petals top things off prettily. I’d love to hear all about your best recipes to celebrate fresh fruit and vegetables.
Recipe: Homegrown Courgette and Lime Cake
200g grated courgette
110g vegetable oil
200g self raising flour
1tsp ground ginger
140g caster sugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Zest of three limes
Edible flower petals, optional
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin.
- If your courgette is especially wet, squeeze out some of the excess liquid or leave to drain in a sieve for half an hour.
- Add the courgette, oil, egg and sugar to a bowl and mix well.
- In a separate bowl add the flour, ginger and bicarb and then whisk well to combine. Add the dry to wet and mix in until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50minutes.
- Leave to cool. Mix lime juice into the yogurt and add icing sugar until you get a thick but runny icing. Drizzle or spread on the cake, then top with edible flowers.