Courgette, Feta and Oregano Loaf

I wish I could send you all a piece of this loaf. No, scratch that. In order to have the full experience of this loaf I first need to bundle you up and drive you two and a bit hours south of Sydney.

I need you to turn up my mother’s agapantha flanked drive, hand over the wriggling mass of chub and bone that is a travel-scratchy, itching to be mobile seven month old and relax with a cup of Earl Grey out of a blue and white mug on her couch.

I need you to wander down to the back paddock and say hello to Pancake, the world’s most petulant shetland pony.

I need you to spend Sunday morning cantering along seven mile beach next to your sister. I need you to relax on the porch with the final chapters of Michael Pollan’s ‘Cooked‘ and a glass of wine while the sun bows below the gum trees. I need you to make a cake from the figs from the heavy lidded fruit trees; a soft blonde thing that’s layered with custard- and then have your niece and nephew declare after school that ‘they don’t like figs’- leaving you no choice but to eat half it yourself over the course of three days.

I need you to retreat to your teenage self and fall down a carb hole; marking your days with fresh bread with home made marmalade, the savoury muffin at Berry Sourdough, home made pizza  and a seafood marinara fettucine for dinner.

And I need you to be presented with produce like this.

It’s always a question for those who have a plot; what do you do with the end of season, enthusiastic bounty of the courgettes? You could sliver them into salads, or use a vegetable peeler to fashion it into noodles for miso soup with hunks of poached salmon.

You could disguise their beguilingly sweet yet savoury flavour profile in chocolate cakes.

Or you could find a new path in a loaf like this. It was made in my mother’s kitchen and is a compromise between the carbs that I crave when I’m in her house (old habits die hard) and a lighter way of eating.

It’s busy with grated courgette and bright with lemon zest and the salinity of crumbled feta. There’s a faint mustiness from the fresh oregano- though mint or rosemary would also work well.

Instead of a bulky huddle of flour holding it all together, half of the body of the loaf is made up with almond meal and ground linseed. Though if you wanted a full slow carb solution, then quinoa flakes would also substitute nicely for the flour (though sadly, quinoa gives my mother a terrible stomach ache- hence its omission here).  This is a delightfully moist, mild savoury loaf – one secret being to squeeze a good amount of liquid out of the grated vegetables prior to mixing- not in an aggressive fashion, just place the pulpy mass in a clean tea towel and give it a good squeeze, as though you were wringing out a sodden towel prior to hanging it on the washing line.

I ate slices of this first its own, as an aperetif with my first glass of wine. It was topped with ricotta, then consumed for lunch with both ricotta and blistered cherry tomatoes from the garden. Later in the week I gave the last pieces a new life by toasting them and serving them under scrambled eggs.

The week of our country retreat was the first time I have been to my mother’s house without an obvious second agenda. This time there were no recipes I had to test, no chapters of a book I had to hastily proof. Yet it was bursting full; of quiet moments in the garden, bonding with horses, marvelling at home-grown produce and meanders down country lanes.

We were only away for six days, but over the course of consuming one loaf, great strides were made. On the first day this came out of the oven baby Will was still wary to test his new-found crawl on the kitchen tiles. They hurt his knees. By the time the last piece was sliced, he had conquered it all and was busy gumming my bare shins while I did the washing up.

I wish I could share it all with you.

Instead, all I have is this. I hope it brings an equal amount of joy to your days.

Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to do with the pumpkin I brought back with us…

Courgette, Feta and Oregano Loaf

Makes 12 slices- is also an excellent thing to slice and freeze in sandwich bags for an emergency snack.


1 x 22 cm loaf pan


2 cups/450 g grated courgette (about 2 medium courgettes, with the excess liquid squeezed out)
1/4 cup mild olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1 cup/125 g self raising flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup ground linseed
zest of half a lemon
pinch of salt
100 g of feta, crumbled
1 small handful of fresh oregano leaves, picked
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp flaked almonds

Here’s how we roll

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F

2) Line the loaf pan with baking paper.

3) In a mixing bowl combine the drained courgette with the oil, beaten eggs and yoghurt. Stir to combine.

4) Fold in the flour, ground almonds, linseed, lemon zest, salt, oregano and feta.

5) Pour into the prepared loaf pan and top with the nuts. Bake for 1 hr -1 hr 10 until a skewer comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool in the tin before taking it out. It should be moist, but not oozy. If it is, don’t fret, simply, return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  Serve as is, or topped with ricotta, roasted tomatoes, or scrambled eggs.


  1. You did share it with us with your marvelous writing. It is so good to “go back home” sometimes… with the people who know you best, where you can truly relax and be yourself. Where everyone loves your little one as much as you do. I will be making this loaf and trying the quinoa solution.

  2. A loaf to be proud of. Ditto for our six-day family retreat. Sounds like a dream!

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