Monday, June 14, 2010
The Only Form in Which Zucchini is Delicious
I don't care, I hate zucchini. It tastes like a furry, starchy, bland cucumber (which is saying something), and I hate it. Those steamed vegetable sides you always get at weddings? The only reason I don't pick out the zucchini is because I'm a grownup now. Sigh.
Growing up in Vermont, seemingly everyone grew zucchini in their gardens and then just gave it to each other. There were always tables on the roadside in front of houses with giant piles of the stuff and a big sign saying "FREE." I don't ever remember stopping, not once. You know why? Because it sucks. Because our house was already filled with all the zucchini people could give us. It was an endless swapping of green, phallic vegetables that went on all summer. There are stories about neighbors sneaking zucchini onto each other's porches in the middle of the night.
In any case, it always seemed to be a challenge to use it all up. My grandmother sometimes made it eggplant-Parmesan style, breaded, fried, and baked in layers of sauce and cheese. That was bearable. Somewhat. Baked goods (like this one) are better.
Inevitably, I know someone is going to read this and claim, "Mmmm, but I love zucchini!" No. No you don't. People love Ben and Jerry's. No one loves zucchini. That's like when I would read my celebrity gossip while pregnant and some expectant actress would claim her cravings consisted of kale and chard--- and I would scream "Liar!" at the computer monitor in a hormonal rage while reaching for another spoonful of Nutella.
Perhaps I'm just bitter because we got more of of the green menace in today's CSA. Gawd. At least I used up last week's before today's two pounds came rolling in! In any case, here is a recipe for zucchini-haters who can't bear to waste food.
Zucchini Bran Bread
From Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin
3 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 c vegetable oil
4 cups grated zucchini
2 c unbleached flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c bran
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (I also add raisins)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour two loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the oil, then stir in the zucchini.
3. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the remaining ingredients. Stir into the zucchini mixture until evenly moistened. Scrape into prepared pans and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let sit five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.