I live in San Francisco. Sometimes, its hard to determine if I really think summer has arrived, being that I wake up to 50-60F weather, and wear a coat on my walk to work (have I gone soft!? where is my Chicagoan that thought 50F was a heat wave in March!). So, you ask, how do I know it really is summer, and not just a figment of my hopeful imagination, that still longs for the days when I had summer break(San Francisco, no wait! America! Take note! Munich gives THEIR residents 7 weeks paid vacation, at a minimum, what are we doing!?).
Well. I see bright, fresh solid and striped colors of green, yellow, and chartreuse everywhere. No, I am not talking about the luscious grass and plants the rest of the nation seems to have, I live in California, remember? I’m talking about that delicious, maliable vegetable that seems to take over our market stalls from mid May to late September: Zucchini (Courgette in Brit speak, look, you learned something new!).
Maybe seeing this vegetable everywhere looking perfect and inviting is yet another call to my past with my fond memories of picking the firm squash right off the vines with my Omi and Opa, or maybe, I just love it to death anyways. No matter what, upon the first opportunity for them to grace my kitchen, it does, in my favorite Zucchini loaf. Crispy, crunchy crust, tasty lightly melted chocolate morsels, made with olive oil(it adds an amazing extra slightly spicy note), whole wheat flour, and more zucchini than most recipes calls for makes for one crackin loaf. Now, what to do with the other few pounds I bought…. maybe a ratatouille?
What’s your favorite use of this wonderful summer veg?
Kuta’s Zucchini Loaf
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups zucchini, grated but not peeled (about 3 medium veg)
1/2 walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F
Grease a loaf pan with olive oil, and flour the pan. Reserve 1/4 cup sugar, and mix all ingredients together well in a large bowl, and place into a large 9×5 loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining sugar evening on top of loaf, to your taste. This extra topping will make a great crispy top!
Bake in the oven for 1 hr, or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out with a relatively clean, dry, crumb. Wait 10 to 15 minutes to turn out of pan, and enjoy! This loaf is even better the second day around, after the flavors have really melded together.