Nigel Slater’s recipe for sweetcorn cake


A hearty and nourishing veggie treat

The recipe
Coarsely grate 250g of courgettes into a sieve, sprinkle with salt and leave for 20 minutes. Remove the leaves from a 400g head of sweetcorn. Slice off the corn with a sharp knife then add them to a pan of boiling, lightly salted water. Let them cook for 5-6 minutes till vivid yellow and tender. Drain and set aside. Finely slice a couple of spring onions. Squeeze any excess liquid from the courgettes then add them to the sweetcorn.

Stir in the spring onions, 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites), a pinch of dried chilli flakes, some salt and black pepper and 4 tbsp of plain flour. Beat the reserved egg whites until foamy then fold them into the sweetcorn batter.

Warm a little oil in a shallow, non-stick frying pan about 24cm in diameter. Warm under a hot grill, then pour in half of the mixture and flatten out with the back of a spoon. Place under the grill and leave to cook for about 8 minutes, until pale gold. Remove the pan from the heat and turn the cake over. Grill for a further 8 minutes, until the surface is golden. Slide out on to a plate, then repeat with the remaining mixture. Makes 2 large cakes.

The trick
This works brilliantly under a hot oven grill, but you could also cook it on the hob. If you prefer, you can turn it by flipping it on to a plate then sliding it back into the pan.

The twist
Serve with a quick tomato sauce: slice 300g of tomatoes horizontally and put them on a baking sheet or grill pan. Trickle over a little olive oil and scatter with thyme leaves and coarse black pepper. Cook under a grill for 8-10 minutes until starting to brown then transfer to a bowl and crush them to a rough purée with a fork. Serve with the sweetcorn cakes.