Well look at that. I managed to grow a proper sized courgette! I haven't much success with courgettes in the past - they usually to grow to about the size of a chipolata before shrivelling up - but finally I have a winner (mine is the one at the front).
I like using courgettes in savoury dishes and also in baking, with Nigella's Courgette Cake with Lime Curd being an absolute favourite. I also love Tortellini with Courgette and Lemon but I'd made that just a few days earlier and I really wanted to try something new.
I found this recipe in Rachel Allen's book, Bake. It sounds quite plain and, in some ways, it is, but please don't let that put you off. The courgettes make it deliciously moist and the spices give it just enough flavour. I liked it best thickly sliced and spread with butter or marge, but it also went down very well for pudding with a bit of ice cream on the side.
(adapted from Bake by Rachel Allen)
400g/14oz plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves (I didn't have any ground cloves and didn't fancy trying to grind up whole ones so I substituted them for the same quantity of mixed spice)
300g/11oz caster sugar
100g/3 1/2oz demerara sugar
3 eggs, beaten
200ml/7 fl oz sunflower oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
380g/13oz courgettes, grated (with the skin left on)
75g/3oz walnuts, chopped (I didn't have any in the house so left them out)
1) Line two 13 x 23cm (5 x 9inch) loaf tins. Preheat the oven to 150c/300f.
2) In a large bowl, sift in the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and spices. Add both sugars and stir well to mix.
3) Add the beaten eggs, oil, vanilla extract and grated courgettes to the dry ingredients and mix well until combined. Add the walnuts (if using), mix in and divide the mixture between the two prepared tins.
4) Bake in the oven for 1-1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for a while before turning out onto a wire rack.
The loaves will keep well for up to 10 days if tightly wrapped in clingfilm.