Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green: Zucchini Bread

Pin It Now! There's a saying that friends help you move, and real friends help you move bodies. Turns out that real friends also tell you things like "hey, we'll be out of town next week, and we have lots of lovely vegetables that are tasty and delicious and will be rotten and gross by the time we get back. You should pick them!" [This is not quite what they said, but approximately it.]

So last week I dutifully trucked it over to my friend's house (she was in New York City with her husband and sons, poor thing] and returned with a kind of extreme bounty of produce.

Check out the harvest and an overabundance of zucchini bread after the jump!


Crazy, right? Because of these monstrous zucchinis (zucchinii?), which I have scientifically measured in the CSI-crime scene tried and true method of photographing next to a dollar bill, I knew I had to make zucchini bread. Approximately 800 pounds of it. And thus, here we are.

Zucchini Bread & Muffins
From Smitten Kitchen
Yield: 2 loaves or approximately 24 muffins. I made 12 muffins and had enough for almost a full normal-sized loaf. I could have made 24 muffins… but I only have one muffin tin. The end.
3 eggs
1 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini (made from 1 monstrous zucchini, or 3-4 medium sized ones)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Optional add-ins:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup chocolate chips or raisins or whatever

Before You Start:

2. Prepare zucchini: wash off any dirt, prune off any dented/weird spots that would freak you out in your batter (what, I'm a fragile soul!), then break your zucchini down into manageable pieces, by which I mean that you might need to have smaller bits that fit in your hand if you have THE ZUCCHINI THAT ATE INSERT NAME OF TOWN HERE. Ahem. Also, if your zucchini is rivaling the size of some European countries, you will have to scrape out any seeds that are now equally huge, because they will not go well in your recipe.
Then, using a food processor (fancy), a mandolin (ooh, fancy), or a hand grater (me), grate zucchini on a small enough hole that they are not too large but not complete mush. How exact of me, right? After grating, you will need to drain the excess moisture either by placing the grated zucchini in a sieve, colander or simply squishing it with some paper towels. Leaving the zucchini too wet will make your product gummy and weird, or so I understand. Ready? Ok.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour your loaf pan(s), or line muffin tin with paper liners. I used liners that had lots of little sport equipment pictures on them because I was bringing them to the beach for my Ultimate frisbee group. Also, they were cute and next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle at Safeway.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla. Please insure that you are using the right size measuring cups, otherwise you will almost not use enough oil, but fortunately you might hypothetically fix it. Just saying.
Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit, if using. (I meant to put some chocolate chips in some of these, but forgot. Blame Top Chef. No, seriously, I was watching the recent episode while mixing the batter.)this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans.
Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. NOTE: The muffins were done at 22 for me, and the loaf at 40 or so (because it was smaller than advertised).
I slightly over-mixed the batter--somewhere Alton Brown is weeping without knowing why--so the muffins are a little too chewy, which might also mean that my zucchini was too wet. Dunno. Both the bread and the muffins, though, are very tasty in that cinnamon-tinged, nutmeg-scented sort of way. And besides, you're eating vegetables, it's practically good for you! Or something. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. You inspire me, Katie! I'm heading up to the farmer's market today and am now thinking about coming back with a bag full of squash. Yum!