I recently bumped into a friend who has a veggie patch and she asked if I had any recipes for zucchinis as she had lots growing. She also wanted to know what it was with Pemberton that zucchinis grew so well!
I wasn’t quite sure what she meant until another friend gifted me the mother of all zucchinis! I mean, this one was about as large as the marrows my grandad used to grow! (Egg for scale.)
Being curious I did a Google search on zucchinis, which are a summer squash and are a cultivar of the marrow I remember from my childhood. It appears that they can actually reach almost 1 metre (100 cm; 39 in) in length, but are usually harvested when still immature at about 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 in). They are also very productive plants and just one or two plants will produce enough for a small family. You can also harvest the large yellow squash blossoms and eat them raw or cooked. Only female blossoms produce fruit, so you can harvest most of the male flowers without slowing down the plant’s productivity. Who knew?
With a zucchini this large I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. I could make a quiche, galettes or even gnocchi. But no, with temperatures much cooler, and with my propensity towards baking, I decided to try both a savoury and a sweet bread.
The trick to cooking or baking with the grated zucchini is to squeeze some of the moisture out before adding to your recipe. Just use a clean tea towel, place the zucchini in the centre, twist and watch the excess water drip out.
Whether you prefer savoury or sweet I hope one of the following recipes helps you out with your glut of zucchinis, but if you still have too many then I have a couple more bread recipes that I’d like to try!
First up is a Zucchini Cheddar Quick Bread made with buttermilk (or a home-made version as in the recipe) and which smelled as delicious cooking in the oven as it tasted not long out of it. Cheesy mouthwatering goodness!
- 1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
- 2 cups all purpose white flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon vinegar, white or apple cider to make home-made buttermilk or use 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 5 bread pan with non stick spray. (I would also add a layer of parchment paper to the bottom of the pan to ensure that the bread does not stick.)
- Wrap grated zucchini in a paper towel, or clean tea towel, and squeeze until some of the liquid releases. (You don’t need to completely dry it out.)
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- If making home-made buttermilk, combine milk and vinegar in a small bowl. (The milk will curdle a bit). If not making then use 1 cup traditional buttermilk. Mix in melted butter and egg.
- Add milk mixture to dry mixture being careful not to over mix to avoid the bread turning out flat.
- Add grated zucchini, cheese and onions, mixing lightly until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
- If toothpick inserted comes out clean, bread is done! Cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove carefully and cool on wire rack.
After your savoury zucchini bread what do you need? Orange Zucchini Bread with Orange Glaze of course! The orange provided a nice zing and the glaze was a touch of sweetness against the bread itself. My orange was very juicy and I could have done with a bit more icing sugar to thicken it up. I’ll know for next time. 😉
For the bread:
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- zest and juice of 1 large orange
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cardamom (optional)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups grated zucchini
For the glaze:
- zest and juice of 1 large orange
- 3 tbsp. butter melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups powdered sugar
For the bread:
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, and orange zest and juice.
- In another large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cardamom (if using), and baking soda.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, along with the zucchini, and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- If you’d like to add any nuts, fold in about 1 cup chopped nuts.
- Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with foil or parchment paper, letting the edges hang over the pan. This is a MUST as the bread will to stick to the pan. Coat with non-stick spray.
- Spread batter into prepared pan.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes, or until top and edges are golden and a toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
- Run a knife along any edges that may have seeped and stuck to the pan.
- Remove bread from the pan completely using the foil or parchment paper edges. Cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare glaze.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all the glaze ingredients until smooth.
- Depending on how juicy your orange was, you may need to add a little water or more powdered sugar! You should be able to drizzle or pour it, but it shouldn’t easily run off the bread.
- Drizzle glaze over cooled bread. Cut and serve.