This summer I am featuring some of my favorite garden produce recipes. For the entire list, see the Recipes page or click on the recipes label.
To plant zucchini, or not to plant zucchini; this was my dilemma in planning my gardens earlier this spring. One of the greatest challenges of having raised beds is that the space I have to garden is finite. I can't just till a little extra along the edge to make room to squeeze in that one extra plant (or seven), so I end up agonizing over some of the decisions I have to make as to how to best use the space I have. Especially when the plant in consideration takes up as much space as zucchini, and my garden plans are looking pretty tight as it is.
In the end, I decided to plant a few zucchini seeds in between the greens and the radishes, in hopes that by the time the zucchini needed the extra space, the cool weather veggies would be just about done anyway. I probably could have waited an extra week or two to plant the zucchini, but other than some very short term crowding, the plan worked pretty much like I hoped it would.
The harvest started a couple of weeks ago, and has continued to come in at the rate of about four zucchinis per week, which is about the perfect pace to use up in a little baking here, a little cooking there, and a little to go in the freezer for future use. Unfortunately, I think the harvest is about to slow down a bit, thanks to a little blossom end rot (which I can only assume is due to the one-two punch of the extra watering from the new lawn and a couple of days of some very heavy rainfall). Boo and double boo.
In the meantime, I'll share my go-to recipe for zucchini bread. I would even go as far as to call this one "fool proof," as I've been in the in the middle of making it and found myself short an egg, or a little sugar, and it's still turned out great. I typically add a little extra zucchini (which makes it extra moist), as well as a few extra nuts (just my personal preference). I've also been stocking my freezer with some packages of shredded zucchini pre-measured specifically for this recipe, because this spice and nut filled bread will be a perfect treat come fall.
1 cup oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 cup zucchini, shredded
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nuts
Preheat oven to 350 and grease two bread pans (it's important to grease the pans very well).
In large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk, then add oil and sugar and stir until blended. Fold in zucchini and add vanilla, set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients together, including nuts.
Gradually add the flour mix to the egg mix, stirring just until all dry ingredients are incorporated into the batter.
Divide into the two greased pans, and bake for approximately 1 hour.
Note: I increase the amount of zucchini slightly (approx. 1/4 -1/2 cup additional)
Labels: preservation, recipes, zucchini