Monday, July 25, 2011

Zucchini Cornbread

If your garden is producing a bumper crop of zucchini this year, crowbar some of the excess into some fresh baked cornbread. Just like with regular zucchini bread, the zucchini doesn't add a whole lot of flavor, mostly just pretty green flecks and moisture. 

I liked this bread, but if we're being totally honest here, it's not nearly as exciting and crowd-pleasing as zucchini-feta pancakes. So if you really are overrun with zucchini this year, I recommend trying those. Now I'm a little bummed I didn't make that instead.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus more for pan
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large zucchini (about 10 oz.)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup medium-grind cornmeal

1.      Position a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter a 9” x 5” x 3" loaf pan.
2.      Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until butter solids at bottom of pan turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Scrape butter into a medium bowl. Set aside and let cool. Whisk in eggs and buttermilk.
3.      Trim zucchini ends. Thinly slice five 1/8" rounds from 1 end of zucchini and reserve for garnish. Coarsely grate remaining zucchini. Add to bowl with butter mixture and stir until well blended.
4.      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.
5.      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.

from Sara Dickerman
browned butter
grated zucchini
mixing zucchini into butter, eggs and buttermilk
adding cornmeal to dry ingredients
everything mixed
batter in the pan with zucchini slices on top
baked, in pan
baked, out of pan

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