Sunday, September 9, 2007

Zucchini Bread and Zucchini Quiche

Like most people, we had an abundance of zucchini in our garden, so we had to use it in creative ways. I have to share this recipe (at the bottom) for zucchini bread. I can almost always depend on Cooks' Illustrated to provide the best, most researched, most fiddled-with recipe for practically anything. The book The Best Recipe, given to us by Marnie for our wedding, is my go-to book for: - cinnamon buns - cheesecake - beef burgundy - quiche - roasted chicken - turkey for t-giving - etc

In just a little over a year, the proof of this book's worth is evidenced by the number of sticky/flour-y/and stained pages already mucking up the book.

The only two recipes that haven't gone well were the chocolate chip cookies. David said they lacked something -- butter flavor once, a brown sugar depth another time -- and he's always right about chocolate chip cookies; the other recipe that recently failed was Chicken Tikki Masala. It was tasty, and David liked it, but I felt it had twice the amount of fresh ginger and cardamom. I had our neighbor Jalpa taste it. She is Indian-American and a good cook, so she was able to identify the problems.

Anyway, the recipe for zucchini bread was not only delicious, but beautiful. Other breads took on a dark tone, but this one was bright yellow and green. The process was lengthy -- shredding the zucchini and letting it drain -- but worth the effort, and I used the juice in some spaghetti sauce. The zucchini monster I used was larger than New England Patriot Teddy Bruschi's forearm, so it made two large loaves. I added the olbigatory chocolate chips to David's loaf and kept mine pure (no nuts, even, though they would've been good).

Zucchini Bread Recipe

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
  • 1 lb zucchini, washed and dried, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  1. Preheat to 375. Grease and flour 9x12 loaf pan.
  2. Shred zucchini with 2 tablespoons sugar in 12-15 one-second pulses. Transfer mixture to colander over bowl and allow to drain 30 minutes. (You can also shred with box grater.)
  3. Mix flour, nuts, baking soda, powder, and salt in bowl.
  4. Whisk together remaining 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, and melted butter.
  5. Squeeze zucchini with towels, and stir in yogurt and flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Add to loaf pan and bake 55-60 minutes until golden brown and knife comes out clean.

A couple weeks ago, I made this quiche and added zucchini to offset the bacon. (Yum, bacon.) It also looked prettier that way -- especially after adding more fresh herbs and our cherry tomatoes.

How food looks is almost as important as its nutrition.


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