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Zucchini bread with olive oil

July 6, 2011

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Makes 2 loaves

The Vardaros, who keep a vegetable garden, have been known to leave surplus zucchini on their neighbors’ porches under the cover of night. These loaves are another of their tactics to keep the prolific squash under control. The couple makes it with Picual olive oil, a mildly grassy, vegetal variety. And unlike some other zucchini-use strategies, this bread makes a welcome surprise for the folks next door.

Butter (for the pans)
Flour (for the pans)
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Sprinkle them with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon to blend them.

3. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, olive oil, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in zucchini.

4. Stir the zucchini mixture into the flour mixture, just until the streaks of flour disappear. Fold in walnuts, if using.

5. Divide the batter between the pans and smooth the top. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

6. Turn the cakes out of the pans and set them right-side up to cool completely. Adapted from Patrick and Gail Vardaro