Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Return of the Zucchini

They’re back!!! Yes, it’s zucchini season. When Mom came for a visit a few weeks ago, she brought me my first one of the season from my sister’s garden.

Here’s my dilemma: I love zucchini in just about any way it’s prepared—sautéed, fried, grilled or baked. However, my fiancé, Michael, does not. In fact, unless a vegetable is a tomato, corn, green bean, carrot, celery, or in a tossed salad, he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.

My one hope was zucchini bread. He likes banana bread, so I thought this version just might work. I decided to mix up a batch of MarthaStewart’s Zucchini Spice Bread.

But before I could get started, I saw a recipe on Chow.com for a Savory Summer Squash Quick Bread, and I was intrigued. So I decided to give it a try as well.

The first step was to grate-up the zucchini. This one gave me enough shredded flesh for both recipes.

I went with the savory version first, knowing full well that Michael would probably turn his nose up at it, so I would probably have to eat it all myself. (Oh well, life is hard sometimes!) As I read through the recipe, I came across a couple of issues.

First, the recipe called for buttermilk, and I didn’t have any. So I went with the standard buttermilk substitution—1 tablespoon of white vinegar stirred into 1 cup of milk, which is allowed to sit for 5 minutes.






Next, the recipe called for crumbled feta cheese. I didn’t have that either. So I decided to substitute cheddar instead. (I like cheddar better anyway.)




So I mixed together the dry ingredients…

and the wet ingredients, and then stirred it all together, poured it into the loaf pan, and baked. The house smelled heavenly.





Next, I moved on to the sweet version. It was the same process, but in reverse.


First mix together the wet ingredients…









then sift together the dry ingredients…

and stir it all together, place into the pan, and bake.  A different kind of heavenly aroma came from the oven. It smelled like Christmas!





Both breads are delicious, though as expected, Michael didn’t care for the savory version. He did say the sweet one, “isn’t bad,” which I see has high praise for a bread with a vegetable inside.


(I do recommend enjoying the Savory Zucchini Bread warm, with a little butter on top. Actually, butter wouldn’t hurt the sweet one, either!


Enjoy!

Savory Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Chow.com recipe

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk (or milk/vinegar substitute)
2 cups grated zucchini
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Place flour, cornmeal, baking powder, oregano, salt, baking soda, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until combined.

Place eggs, buttermilk, and olive oil in a separate bowl and whisk until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold in squash and cheddar until evenly combined. Pour squash mixture into flour mixture and stir until flour is just incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Scrape the batter into the loaf pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about 60 to 65 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, and then turn the bread out on to the rack and cool for at least another 15 minutes before serving.

Zucchini Spice Bread
From Martha Stewart’s website

1 3/4 cup grated zucchini
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, oil, vanilla, and eggs.

Into a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, and stir to combine well. Stir in grated zucchini.

Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack, then reinvert, top side up. Cool completely before slicing.

5 comments:

Sue/the view from great island said...

Oh, we just finished up our loaf of zucchini bread, and now I want more! I would go with the sweet version, too, and you can't go wrong with Martha!

Linda A. Thompson said...

Sue, we just finished our spice loaf yesterday--or I should say I finished it since I've had it for breakfast ever since I made it! The savory one would work best if it was made to serve with a specific meal, though I've had some toasted slices for lunch. Yum. And you're right, Martha will never steer you wrong!

Joanne said...

I love that you did both a savory and a sweet take on zucchini bread, and I'm sure I would have loved both of them! You've inspired a craving!

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Wow these both look great and both sound really delicious! I think I would love to try both recipes!!

Linda A. Thompson said...

Joanne and Alicia, if you try them out, let me know what you think!