Have you heard the one about the woman who grew the world’s largest zucchini? She wanted to take it to a friend to show it off. The zucchini was so huge, it stuck out the car window and she couldn’t lock the car. Stopping at the grocer’s for a few things on the way, she returned to her car to find something awful happened while she was in the store… someone had left her the world’s second largest zucchini too!
You thought that was going a different direction, didn’t you? 😉
Growing up, everyone had more zucchini from their gardens than they could use or give away. After all, how much zucchini bread could you eat? And there seemed to be only one recipe which varied with the addition of walnuts or raisins. We didn’t really treat it as a vegetable … it was the magic ingredient for super-moist bread! And cake. Mom had a really great chocolate cake recipe too now that I think about it!
And, wouldn’t you know it? Now that I have my own garden, I can’t seem to grow it! I do not know what happens but it just doesn’t survive. After all those years of not being able to give it away, I am buying it. I am buying it, grilling it, roasting it … making things like ratatouille and harvest vegetable medley … and baking all kinds of sweet and savory bread.
My favorite zucchini recipe discovery is Parmesan Zucchini Bread. It is a savory quick bread with just a hint of onion. This bread is so amazing warm from the oven but toasting the cooled slices with a little butter is incredible! Then there’s always the good ol’ grilled cheese option. All I need now is a bowl of tomato soup!
Parmesan Zucchini Bread
3 cups of flour
1 cup shredded zucchini, drained on paper towels
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, melted but not hot
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon finely minced or grated onion
Coarse-ground black pepper
Mix together the flour, zucchini, sugar, cheese, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Stir butter into buttermilk. Gently whisk the eggs and combine with the buttermilk/butter mixture. Add the onion and stir to combine. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be very thick. Pour batter into a greased 9″X5″X3″ loaf pan (or 3 mini-loaf pans or 12-cup muffin pan). Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes (20-25 minutes for mini-loaves and 15-17 minutes for muffins) or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Since you can never go wrong with the chocolate variety …
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
3 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
In a bowl, stir together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla; stir in zucchini. In a larger bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and baking powder; stir to mix. Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture and stir until moistened. Stir in nuts (optional). Spoon or pour into 3 9″X5″X3″ loaf pans. Sprinkle with coarse decorating sugar. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
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