Sunday Food: Real Friends Take a Zucchini
(Picture courtesy of Jeremy Keith at flickr.com.)
They’re that greatest test of true friendships out here in the land of prolific gardens. If you’ve ever grown them, you know the feeling. Those carefully tended mounds of bright pretty golden flowers have produced monsters that now are filling all your steps, your lawn chairs, and your walkways. You grew them, you have to find them a home. There are many many many more coming along out there in those plants mounds, but this kind of veggie the bunnies and deer just don’t eat.
Maybe you’re at that point too, the neighbors don’t want to talk to you anymore, they have the same trouble. Zucchini abundance happens at this time of year, everywhere.
There’s a cookout and the grill does its burgers, but there you go, you can throw some slices of zucchini onto the dying coals now! Surely folks would be happy to have those fresh, hard to give, zucchinis to finish up the meal? Keep smiling, and have some more slices.
They’re absolutely beautiful, they’re healthy and they’re as big as all outdoors. The mailman likes to find one in the magazine box under the mailbox, surely? Actually, ours does. There’s a true good buddy.
Zucchini bread is a wonderful treat. Here’s the recipe, please wouldn’t you like a zucchini to go with that? Two or three, maybe?
First grate 3 – 4 cups of zucchini, fresh, and drain. I do that with a big towel for drips, in front of the t.v., or outside. Now, you’re ready!
3 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cup (270 g) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (omit if using salted butter)
3 to 4 cups grated fresh zucchini (700 to 900 ml)
3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (100 g) chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 cup (120 g) dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 5 by 9 inch loaf pans. Place the grated zucchini in a sieve or colander over a bowl to drain any excess moisture.
2 In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
3 In another large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.
4 Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, to the sugar egg zucchini mixture, stirring after each incorporation. Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins if using.
5 Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans. Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F (175°C) or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.
Now try giving that away. And a few more zukes to go with.
(Picture courtesy of Ting Chen at flickr.com.)