It’s that time of year again. A single zucchini plant produces fruit daily, and every once in a while one goes undetected until it's the size of your forearm – or worse. When that happens you can:
1) Leave it on your neighbor’s doorstep. This is actually appreciated if your neighbor isn’t growing any zucchini and wants to do 2 or 3 below.
2) Cut it in half, scoop out the middle and fill the center with ground beef or sausage, tomato sauce, onion, corn, herbs – maybe a little parmesan cheese, or Cheddar. Whatever you want. Then wrap it in foil and cook in the oven or the grill. Or
3) Grate it and make zucchini bread. You can peel it, but the green bits of skin are pretty in the bread. And if you have extra you can freeze the grated zucchini to use later.
There are lots of recipes for zucchini bread, but this is the one I’ve developed over the years. Lots of spices and extracts for flavor. You can cut down on the sugar by a third if you want.
Makes one large 9x5x3 inch loaf.
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (dried is okay, too)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or pecans or both (optional – I usually leave them out)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
Beat eggs at medium speed in mixing bowl until foamy. Drizzle in the oil, beating all the while. Add sugar and beat at high speed until creamy and light. Stir in the grated zucchini, lemon zest, and vanilla, orange and lemon extracts.
Mix the flour with the salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda and baking powder. Stir into batter, one cup at a time, beating only long enough to combine. Fold in chocolate chips/pecans if you’re adding them.
Spoon into prepared loaf pan, spreading to the corners, and bake one hour. Bread will pull away from the edge of the pan slightly and brown on top. Cool bread in the pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Turn out on rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.
If your mixer is large enough this recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. As is, it will fill three mini-loaf pans, and I’ve even used it to make two 9-inch round cakes and frosted the whole shebang with cream cheese frosting.
A few other things to do with zucchini: