OMG, I cannot even begin to express how sick I am of summer squash. Four lousy plants, plus our CSA contribution, and it has simply taken over my kitchen counters.
Our kitchen freezer is literally stuffed with frozen, shredded zucchini. We’ve eaten the stuff every. stinkin’. day. Often for more than one meal.
I’ve put it in omelets, scrambles, casseroles, stir fries, cream sauces, tomato sauces. I’ve hidden it in meatloaf, meatballs and spaghetti sauce (which is one way to get my vegetable eschewing son and grandson to eat it). I’ve stewed it, fried it, sauteed it and roasted it. I’m getting ready to make it into pickles and relish.
And I finally broke down and made some zucchini bread.
My sister-in-law, Tough Yankee Broad, is an accomplished cook, avid gardener and fellow crochet addict. Recently she found a recipe for Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread, since she, too, is Awash In Squash; I asked her to let me know how it came out if she made it. She did, and pronounced it “okay” with the caveat that, since she lives in the middle of nowhere Vermont, she had to use bottled lemon juice.
I, on the other hand, had two lemons sitting on my counter, leftovers from Jolly’s birthday cake. Keeping in mind TYB’s statement that she doubled the recipe because “who only has one cup of shredded zucchini on hand and only makes one loaf of bread with it??” but not wanting to make a metric fuck-ton of it in case it was simply “okay” I began mentally tweaking the recipe.
The original recipe called for canola oil which, despite the return of moderate amounts of wheat flour and sugar to our diet, is still on my “banned” list, so I used melted and cooled butter instead. It also called for buttermilk which I worried might have had something to do with my SIL’s bread not being very “lemony” so I decided to just use plain, whole milk. After shredding a medium-sized zucchini, I got about a cup and a half, so I kept the liquid to 1/2 a cup, combining half of the lemon juice with 6 tablespoons of milk, figuring it would keep the bread plenty moist.
To be honest, I held back two tablespoons of lemon juice, fully intending to make a glaze for the bread, but while it was baking it occurred to me that glazing it really would be gilding the lily, and opted for sprinkling the reserved juice over the bread once it came out of the oven (it was the right choice).
As for the tarragon, that was a bit of an afterthought when I was assembling the ingredients – and one of desperation, to be honest, since for some reason the tarragon in our herb garden has gone completely nuts this year and is taking over. Don’t ask me why, for I don’t know; every year prior it’s been rather lackluster. Maybe it has something to do with the bitterly cold winter we just had (that killed my thyme)? Who knows…
As for the bread, well, it was magnificent – holy cow, so so so SO good. Just lemony enough, not too terribly sweet (glazing the bread would have made it so) and the tarragon gave it a wonderful herbaceous hint that was just lovely. Yum, yum, YUM. I’m going to make a lot more to freeze and give away as gifts – in fact, most of it will be given away as gifts because if I keep it in the house, I’ll eat it ALL.
It’s just that good.
Click the image to enlarge
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- 6 tablespoons milk
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9" x 5" loaf pan; reserve 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and melted butter until well blended and thick. Whisk in the milk, lemon juice, zest and tarragon. In two batches, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Fold in the grated zucchini.
- Pour into the prepared loaf pan; bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 30 minutes on a baking rack. Turn out the bread and return to the baking rack; sprinkle the top with the reserved lemon juice and allow to cool completely before serving.
- Nutrition (per serving): 188 calories, 6.7g total fat, 39mg cholesterol, 187.1mg sodium, 82.8mg potassium, 29.9g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 17.4g sugar, 2.9g protein