One summer, I made the mistake of planting three zucchini vines. My father, an experienced gardener, tried to talk me out of it. “You’ll be buried in zucchini,” he said. “One plant will give you more than you can eat.”
I was certain that he simply underestimated my love for zucchini. But I was wrong. So very, very wrong.
Needless to say, that summer I collected a large variety of zucchini recipes. The wonderful thing about the vine that keeps on giving is that zucchini can take so many forms: stuffed with rice or ricotta cheese and baked under a blanket of tomato sauce, layered in a veggie lasagna, sliced into a stir fry, chopped and added to soups. Even shredded and added to cake, muffins or bread, zucchini adds beautiful color and texture (plus a dose of good nutrition) to your favorite baked goods.
This is my favorite zucchini bread recipe. It freezes well, always a plus when you’re facing the mid-summer onslaught.
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 T. vanilla
Combine the first five ingredients, in order, blending after each addition. Add the zucchini and stir well. Finally, add the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla; stir again to distribute the spices throughout the batter.
This is the basic zucchini bread batter, but if you like more texture in your zucchini bread, add half a cup of walnuts or pecans. If you want to add raisins, now would be the time. Toss them with a little flour, though, to keep them from sticking together or sinking to the bottom of the batter during baking.
Pour the batter into two greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. You can also make mini-loaves, for portion control—this recipe makes 16. (Bake mini-loaves for about 20 minutes.)