So, I cook. I cook in that most nights I run a quick inventory on the contents of my fridge and improvise my way into a (usually) tasty dish. And I love cooking…but I rarely bake. Because I rely on improv nine times out of ten, I’ve developed a bit of a measuring aversion through the years. I’m working on it.
I figure a good way to improve is to make one of my favorite summertime snacks. Enter Food & Wine’s Yogurt-Zucchini Bread! Note: The recipe calls for walnuts. I prepped them, put them in the freezer to cool, and then promptly forgot about them.
I’ve never met a loaf of zucchini bread I didn’t like, so the stakes were high. Happy to report this recipe is going in the vault, and I’ll no doubt be repeating variations of it for the rest of zucchini season. It felt good to get the measuring cups out again!
1 cup walnut halves (4 ounces) 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 2 large eggs ½ cup vegetable oil ½ cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini, from about 1 medium zucchini *Zest of one lemon *1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 9-by-4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Spread the walnut halves in a pie plate and toast them for about 8 minutes, until they are fragrant. Transfer the toasted walnuts to a cutting board and coarsely chop them, then freeze for 5 minutes to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the eggs, vegetable oil and fat-free yogurt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients along with the grated zucchini and toasted walnuts and stir until the batter is evenly moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the loaf is risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool on a rack for 30 minutes before unmolding and serving.
*These ingredients were added per my family’s zucchini bread recipe.
For next time: 1. I definitely won’t forget the walnuts. In the age-old debate of nuts vs. no nuts I tend to fall toward the latter, but I was bummed when I discovered I had left the walnuts in the freezer! 2. Keep the lemon; add a bit more cinnamon, and maybe some chocolate chips or dried fruit. 3. I think I could sneak another cup of zucchini in.
How do you plan on using this season's zucchini crop? Get some of our ideas here.