Sunday, October 10, 2010
Everyone who's ever been near a garden has a recipe for zucchini bread. I've tried quite a few different ones, but this is one of my favorites. It's from The Martha Stewart Cookbook, and I think the best ingredient in it is walnut oil. I use my absolute favorite: La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil (for a yummy vinaigrette made with this oil, go here!)
The reason I'm making zucchini bread today is simple. I saw Uncle Paul yesterday, who said, "We were on the mountain for 2 weeks and our zucchini got out of control...want some?" I said, and I quote, "sure, I'll take a couple."
The next thing I know, there are 5 of the biggest zucchini I have ever seen in the back of my car! I'm not kidding, the largest ones are almost two feet long and over 5 inches in diameter!! And there are five of them!
I had to do something with them, and quick. Another good thing about this recipe is that the bread freezes very well! I'll make some big loaves, some little loaves, and have a freezer full of deliciousness.
Reality check: I managed to get the zucchini all grated with my beloved Bosch, in two phases. 70 cups of shredded zucchini in total. I used 5 cups for one batch of this bread, with two more 5-cup bags waiting. Ended up with three large loaves from the batch, we ate one and put two in the freezer. All the rest of the zucchini is in the freezer in 2-cup bags, but I have some ideas! I also had to harvest ALL of the tomatoes (red AND green) and 5 kinds of peppers from the garden before we left for the weekend because I was worried about a frost, so I've got my work cut out for me. Luckily zucchini bread can wait!
Makes 4 large or 8 small loaves
This tea bread is a favorite on summer buffet tables. I serve it with cheese, with herb butter, and as a base for chicken salad hors d'oeuvres. The flavor is enhanced by the addition of walnuts and walnut oil.
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups light vegetable oil
5 cups unpeeled grated zucchini
5 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups chopped walnuts
1/4 cup walnut oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray with vegetable oil 4 large loaf pans (9 x 5 x 3 inches) or 8 small pans.
Beat the eggs until light. Add the sugar, mixing well. Add the oil, zucchini and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Sift the dry ingredients. Add by the cupful to the egg mixture. Stir until well blended. Add the nuts and walnut oil.
Spoon into the pans and bake for approximately 1 hour. Cool on racks.