Sadly summer is slowly coming to an end, well at least for me anyway. I am an elementary school teacher and I have to go back to reality on Monday. But before I go back to the students, parents, and other teachers I have a few more days where I can leisurely cook as much as I want. Not to worry though, I will still be posting new recipes everyday..I will just have more taste-testers on my hands! I have been thinking of recipes that are undoubtedly summer and zucchini bread is definitely one of those.
Growing up I remember my parents growing zucchini along with a bunch of other vegetables in their garden in the backyard. My dad would often cook zucchini bread throughout the summer and it did not matter how much coaxing he tried, I would have nothing to do with this bread. My parents would try to tell me that it wasn’t zucchini bread just so I would try it, but they could not fool me..those bright green shreds of zucchini always gave it away! I have come a long way since that picky eater, I no longer cringe at the sight of zucchini. In fact, zucchini bread is now one of my favorite quick breads to make. Super moist with a rich flavor-this is the perfect way to use up this delicious summer squash.
- 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 pound zucchini, washed and dried, ends and stems removed, cut in half lengthwise and seeded, cut each half in 1-inch pieces.
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped coarse
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
- If using a food processor: process zucchini and 2 tablespoons of sugar until zucchini is coarsely shredded. Transfer the mixture to a fine-mesh strainer and let sit 2 inches over a bowl and allow to drain for 30 minutes. If using a box grater: do not cut zucchini into 1-inch pieces, instead, shred the halved zucchini on the large holes of a box grater, toss with 2 tablespoons of sugar and transfer the mixture to a fine-mesh strainer and let sit 2 inches over a bowl and allow to drain for 30 minutes.
- Spread the nuts onto a baking sheet and place in preheated oven 5-7 minutes until fragrant. Shake the baking sheet halfway through baking so the nuts will toast evenly. Remove nuts from oven and set aside to cool completely. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cooled nuts. Whisk until combined and set aside.
- Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon juice, and melted butter until combined. Set aside.
- After the zucchini has drained, squeeze the zucchini with several layers of paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Stir the zucchini and the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture until just moistened. Do not over stir. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth surface with a spatula.
- Bake in preheated oven 55-60 minutes until golden brown or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool for at least 1 our before serving. Store leftovers at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap.