It’s zucchini season, and I’ve been throwing in this delicious summer squash into everything I can — from soups and salads to stir-fries and fritters. What I love about this vegetable is that it’s so versatile and can be pretty much added to anything, whether sweet of savory. You can spiralize it into noodles, add it to brownies, use it to make sweet muffins or bake it in a casserole; whatever you choose to do, you’ll always end up with something that tastes totally different.
After having cooked zucchini in so many different ways, I still hadn’t experimented with zucchini bread. Zucchini bread can be baked to be either sweet or savory, and although I love sweet carrot bread and cake, I’m not always so fond of baking with vegetables. I’d rather bake them into something savory and use fruits in my cakes instead (banana bread, anyone?). With so many zucchinis in the fridge, I decided to finally give zucchini bread a go yesterday, adding other ingredients to a savory recipe I found on No Recipes.
No Recipes‘ recipe calls for baking a loaf of bread out of grated zucchini and cheddar cheese, but given that I married a man who doesn’t enjoy melted cheese unless it’s lasagna or pizza, I chose to throw in a couple of our favorite ingredients instead — such as black olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Prior to adding the vegetables to your bread, No Recipes recommends grating your zucchini and letting it sit in a colander with a bit of salt to remove its liquid. It is important to squeeze out any remaining water to prevent your bread from becoming soggy during the cooking process.
The batter of the bread might seem quite basic — all-purpose flour, a bit of granulated sugar, baking powder, eggs and olive oil — but what makes all the difference here is the add-ons. Grated zucchini is mixed with the aroma of paprika, the pungent taste of dried oregano and thyme leaves, the irresistibility of black olives and the deliciousness of sun-dried tomatoes (those not packed in oil, please!). No salt is needed, except for the teaspoon you’ll mix into the grated zucchini while you wait for the liquid to drip out of the colander. The black olives bring all the saltiness needed to make this bread complete and utter perfection.
The bread is baked for 45 minutes, invading your kitchen with the most delectable smell. I, for one, couldn’t wait until Jon got home from soccer for dinner to have a slice of the bread. I cheated, and although I was dying to have a second slice, I waited until he came home and surprised him with the dinner table already set with this bread taking center stage next to a leafy green salad and some cheddar cheese on the side; just because I couldn’t add it to the bread doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy it at the same time!
- 2 medium zucchini, grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon mild paprika
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 10 black olives, pitted and sliced
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), sliced
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a loaf pan with olive oil and coat with flour.
- Place the grated zucchini in a colander with the salt and let sit for 20 minutes until it releases all its water. Squeeze the zucchini to remove all excess water and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and paprika.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, water and olive oil. Add thyme leaves, dried oregano, grated zucchini, olives and sun-dried tomatoes and mix to combine.
- Add the egg mixture to the bowl of flour and mix with a spatula just to combine. Do not overmix the dough.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then move the bread to a wire rack to let cool completely.
How did your savory zucchini bread come out? Share photos of your recipe on Instagram with the hashtag #savormania