Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Tried and True: Lemon-Rosemary Zucchini Bread

For some reason, traditional zucchini bread recipes tend to be strongly spiced with things like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. These are certainly great flavors, but they completely obscure the delicateness of the squash. I suspect the people who developed these recipes never really liked zucchini at all! So I thought about how I like zucchini best—with things like butter, lemon, and fresh herbs - which also happen to be traditional flavors in many parts of the world. The result was a hit, where all the components served to enhance one another perfectly:

Lemon-Rosemary Zucchini Bread

Lemon-Rosemary Zucchini Bread

One large or two medium zucchini, shredded and excess moisture squeezed out (use a clean towel or strong paper towels—you should have roughly 1 to 1 1/2 cups of zucchini)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole-milk sour cream (or plain yogurt)

Prep zucchini per above and set aside. Butter an 8 x 8 inch square pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and rosemary. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy; stir in eggs until combined, then add the zucchini and mix together. Gently stir in half the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream, then the remaining flour mixture until just combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers (the flavor is even better the next day).

Notes: Like all quick breads, this is really just cake in sheep's clothing, and as such it is delicious with your coffee in the morning or a spot of tea in the afternoon. For an easy substitute, use one cup fresh blueberries in place of the zucchini. For more sweetness, stir 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar together with just enough fresh lemon juice to drizzle over cooled bread.


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