On the menu

Recipe: Courgette, smoked cheddar and jalapeño bread

This flexible dish is like a big savoury muffin

I like to think of this bread as a big savoury muffin, says Adam O’Shepherd. As with muffins, you can use whatever ingredients you have to hand to throw into the mix. The courgette can be substituted for other vegetables you may need to use up, so this recipe is really flexible. Using polenta helps to give the loaf added texture, and the pickled jalapeños provide a nice little kick.

Makes 8-10 slices

  • 2 courgettes, grated
  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g polenta
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus an extra pinch
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 150ml milk
  • 75g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp pickled jalapeños, chopped
  • 6g coriander, chopped
  • 125g smoked cheddar, grated
  • 75g vegetarian grating cheese, grated

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment.
  • Put the grated courgettes in a clean tea towel with a pinch of salt and give the towel a really hard squeeze a few times to get as much water as you can out of the courgettes.
  • Combine the flour, polenta, baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl. Add the grated courgettes and mix well.
  • In another mixing bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour, polenta and courgettes. Gently fold the mixture together using a spatula. Do not overwork it or the loaf will be tough. Transfer the batter to the loaf tin, spreading it out evenly using a spatula.
  • Bake in the hot oven for 45-50 minutes. Check to see if the loaf is done by inserting a skewer into the centre of the loaf. If it comes out clean, it is done. If it’s still a little wet, put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  • Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and let cool before slicing. It is great served toasted for breakfast with homemade baked beans, wild mushrooms and roasted tomatoes.
  • Tip: simply slice and serve the bread as it is, or brush both sides of the sliced bread with butter or olive oil, then toast on a hot chargrill pan or in a hot frying pan until golden on both sides.
MasterChef Green by Adam O'Shepherd

Taken from MasterChef Green by Adam O’Shepherd, published by Bloomsbury Absolute at £26. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £20.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk.

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