You know the old saying, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” (or limoncello, but that’s a story for another blog), well I put a new spin on the old adage and say, “when life (or parents) hand you zucchini, make zucchini bread!”
Faced with a recent abundance from the garden, a zucchini inspired menu was prevalent in the kitchen. Battered, breaded, shredded, layered, fried, sautéed, and pureed into parmigiana, hummus, risotto, frittata, and spaghetti to name a mere few. But my favorite use for the vegetable, is baking it up into the perfect combination of courgette and cake, zucchini bread. A few simple ingredients, combined with summer squash, produce gloriously fragrant, golden loaves. The making of this sweet bread not only fills the house with a wonderful aroma, but also with friends who gather to enjoy a slice alongside a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
There are two things I particularly love about this zucchini bread. The first is that it’s a great way to get children to eat their vegetables (my daughters devour several pieces at a time), and the second is how well it freezes which allows me to preserve a delightful taste of summer to enjoy on a cold winter’s day. Buon Appetito!
- 3 cups of flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ white sugar
- 1 cup chopped nuts (traditionally walnuts, but pecans work wonderfully as well)
- ½ cup currants or raisins (optional)
- 4 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 2/3cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, nuts, currants, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt with a fork. In a second bowl, beat the eggs slightly with a fork then stir in the oil, zucchini and lemon peel. Combine the liquid and flour mixtures, just until the flour is moistened. Spread evenly into the pans and bake on the middle rack, for one hour. Cool in pans on a baking rack for 10 minutes and then remove from the pans. Serve warm or cold.
To make the chocolate version simply add ¼ cup of cocoa and chocolate bits or chips to your mix.