August 27th, 2009


Courgette, Goats Cheese and Garden Herb Pesto Bread

I’m really excited about this recipe. I planned baking this bread in my dream. You might find that seriously bizarre but then I’m thinking of food all the time, even in my sleep. I woke up and knew exactly what I was going to do. I love it when a plan comes together and it all makes sense.

I used the Thermomix to make my bread dough. When I do cooking demonstrations I normally make the basic bread recipe in the Thermomix, it only takes 1 minute and 30 seconds to knead and this guarantees a lot of jaw dropping.   This enables me to become seriously adventurous with what I do with the bread dough. This recipe is a very good example of just that.

I had plenty of time to make a superb garden herb and courgette pesto to form the delicious centre for my bread. I thought of Chelsea buns when I came up with this idea.

As you place the whole loaf on the table it not only brings me enjoyment but also encourages an help yourself and rustic elements to come to the fore as everyone can just rip and eat. That’s my way of enjoying food,but this leads to the question why does the food always taste better when eaten with your hands? Or shall I not go there?

Feel free to make this recipe your own. If you do not have herbs in the garden then choose a flavour you like and only buy this one as herbs are expensive . I also recommend you use cheese from your fridge. We love cooking “fridge specials” it’s a great way to experiment and to teach yourself what  works and what doesn’ t. There is nothing more honest than your taste buds, they will very quickly let you know when flavours do not quite belong together.


Cooking is a act of love for us and there is nothing more rewarding than when you stand in front of the nearly empty fridge staring at a drawer full of courgettes, some goats cheese, fresh yeast and a few other half used bits and bobs and you produce something as delicious as this. We have a  running joke in the house during the courgette season and that is ” what is the courgette surprise for tea tonight?” It makes us both laugh out loud every time Mr.P cracks that joke but we know we will eat well!


Courgette and Garden herb Pesto

  • 200g courgette, coarsely grated
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 20g golden linseeds
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 30g spinach
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 40g mixed herbs such as mint, lemon thyme, parsley, basil, oregano
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • juice of one lemon

Heat a non-stick frying pan and saute the onions, garlic and seasoning in 2tbs of the oil until golden about 4 -5 minutes. Add the courgettes and saute for one minute. Let the mixture cool.

Toast the linseeds and pine nuts and add to the sauteed onion and courgette mixture, cool.

Place the herbs, spinach, lemon juice, Parmesan and remaining oil in the Thermomix bowl and blend until still coarse.

Add the herb mixture to the cooled sauteed onion, courgette and nut mixture. Adjust the seasoning if needed and let the flavours develop for about 20 minutes.

Food Fanatics Tips

Do not be tempted to add too much oil, the mixture must be dry to prevent the bread becoming claggy. Place the leftover pesto in a clean jar cover the surface with extra oil and keep refrigerated, it should last for up to one week.

Bread Dough

  • 400g strong bread flour
  • 20g fresh yeast or 7g dried yeast (I do not recommend fast action yeast)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200g water
  • 40g extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 100g soft goats cheese
  • 100g courgette and garden herb pesto

Weigh the flour, rosemary, yeast and salt directly into the Thermomix bowl, blend for 30 seconds on speed 8.

Add the oil and water, blend for 30 seconds on speed 8.

Scrape the sides down, lock the lid, set the timer to 1 minute 30 seconds, dial on lock position and press the dough button.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and neatly and glenty fold the dough into a ball to form a smooth top, place into a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean dry tea towel and let the dough prove to double in size. Should take about 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 7"(18cm) OR 8"(20cm) spring form tin and lightly dust with flour.

Carefully turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and flatten using your fingers tips or very lightly roll with a rolling pin into a rectangle about 1.5cm thick.

Spread the pesto and sprinkle the goats cheese, roll the dough into a spiral and cut into 6. Place the spirals in the prepared tin, bake for 55 minutes. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin, brush the top with olive oil.

Serves 6

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12 Comments to “Courgette, Goats Cheese and Garden Herb Pesto Bread”

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  1. Briony says:

    Love your recipes. You have some really interesting combinations. Will definitely do this Courgette, Goats Cheese and Pesto Bread.

  2. Chantelle says:

    I’ve just made these today but using a savoury scone mixture instead. I put gruyere and leeks and some fresh rosemary through the scone dough and then used the pesto and goat’s cheese as suggested and they turned out perfectly! As I’ve been using them for our afternoon tea menu at work, I baked them as individual breads/scones and they got great feedback straight from the oven :-)

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