Is it just me or are you finding yourself, this time of year, hiding zucchini in your kids breakfast smoothies, cold cereal, and peanut butter sandwiches? I am all about using up these gorgeous courgettes (in French they sound less pedestrian) in the hopes that the “anonymous” donations on my front porch won’t go to waste. To that end I want to share the most delightful quick bread: Zucchini Cornbread. Is it savory or sweet? Well…the answer is “yes.” Sprinkle chives and cheddar on top and it is savory. Drizzle honey or peach jam over a slice and it is sweet. Regardless, it is perfectly moist with a delicate crumb and appealing summer-yellow color. Most zucchini recipes can use all colors of squash interchangeably—which means summer squash or beautiful variegated Mexican zucchini can be used in place of standard green varieties. When they are enormous and over-mature, just peel the tough skin and use the tender flesh inside. Trust me, in December you will be grateful you froze bags of shredded zucchini when you get a powerful yearnin’ for this bread. This recipe is adapted from Sara Dickerman’s published in Bon Appetit, July 2011.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter plus more for pan
Position a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter a 9x5x3" loaf pan.
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Transfer butter to a medium bowl. Set aside and let cool. Whisk in eggs and buttermilk.
Trim zucchini ends. Thinly slice five 1/8" rounds from 1 end of zucchini and reserve for garnish. Coarsely grate remaining zucchini. Add shredded zucchini to bowl with butter mixture and stir until well blended.
Sift both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Whisk in cornmeal. Add zucchini mixture; fold just to blend (mixture will be very thick). Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Place reserved zucchini slices atop batter down center in a single layer.
Bake bread until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack. Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Tres Hatch is the author of Miracle Pill 10 Truths to Healthy, Thin, & Sexy .