14 July 2009

Zucchini Fest '09

Holy shit do we have too much zucchini! The squash plants are completely out of control- please notice the photo that includes Hiro for scale- His enormous head is smaller than the squash leaves! He looks positively tiny!
I am doing my best to keep up with it- in fact, I'm starting to get obsessed with it. Why not shave some into waffle batter? Would anyone like a 10 zucchini omelette? Zucchini bread, zucchini noodles. Fritters. Cakes. Salads. Lets do it! It's only a matter of time before my purple beans and tomatoes take over the kitchen, but for now squash is king. Today I started zucchini bread madness, where I plan on taking this vegetable and turning into bad for you. And I plan on doing this a lot. This bread is AWESOME. It's very moist, earthy and delicate. And it loves to be smothered in butter and sprinkled with sea salt, just like me! Or... whatever. It's really good.

*adapted from Bakers Illustrated.

1 lb. zucchini (no big seeds- get rid of those if you're working with a big zuc), shredded
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
3/4 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of plain, full fat yogurt (I like-no- love, Nancy's)
juice from one lemon

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a standard 9" loaf pan. Shred the zucchini into a bowl (I found that one pound= 3 small zucchini). Mix 2 tablespoons of your sugar with the shreds and put all of it in a strainer. Let sit while you do everything else- a lot of the water from the squash needs to drain.

Toast the walnuts for a few minutes and then let cool. Melt butter, let cool. In a small bowl, mix the rest of the sugar with the yogurt, eggs, melted and cooled butter, and lemon juice. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients with the cooled walnuts included. Add the drained (and don't be afraid to give it a good squeezing with some paper towels to get out any remaining liquid) zucchini to the wet mix, and then incorporate the wet and dry together. Stir until everything comes together, but don't over mix. Pour into the greased loaf pan, and then bake for 55 minutes or so. Don't over bake! When a toothpick comes out mostly clean, it's done. Let it cool most of the way before serving! Give it to your friends and neighbors!

Another great way to eat this wonderful squash is as a pasta. My favorite food writer, Molly Wizenberg, suggests julienning the zucchini so that it looks like noodles. Saute it in oil and add to real pasta with fresh pesto and you're in for a treat! I ate this last night and added WAY to much salt, but it was still alright. I'm trying again tonight- with pesto from my garden! Way to go you crazy basil plants!

Coming soon- cippolini onions, patty pan squash, and something I have not yet identified!

1 comment:

MuffinCastle said...

Wow. I feel like an idiot. I guess I'm going to have to read your entries in the order you wrote them, rather than in the order I find them from now on. Anyway, thanks for the recipe! It looks delish!