from my table: chocolate olive oil zucchini bread
Zucchini season is upon us!
I’m up to my elbows in these green monsters, eyes wide, frantically combing through Pinterest for more ways to use them up as these sneaky devils seem to multiply while my back is turned. Our CSA has been flooding us with vegetables all summer and as the squash begins to come in, we’re amping up our consumption: sauteing, slicing for sandwiches, shredding for salads, and of course, for the perennial summer favorite, zucchini bread!
I remember my dad’s zucchini bread; deep brown, shiny with butter and smelling of cinnamon that nearly makes you float with contentment. It’s a dear favorite of mine, sliced in large chunks, eaten with a glass of iced tea, but I was looking to try something a little different this season. Something lighter, with more grain and less grease, and perhaps a touch of cocoa (for what isn’t made better with bittersweet chocolate, I ask you).
I came across this recipe from Seven Spoons and I’ve found it to be a champion amongst zucchini quick breads. I swapped out nuts for millet and pumpkin seeds (mostly because I discovered I was out of any kind of nut) and the crunch is a welcome addition to the moist softness of this bread. Studded with dark chocolate, this bread is sensational with a cup of coffee and also freezes beautifully.
(Just make sure to brush the crumbs off your face before someone realizes you’ve eaten half the loaf. And maybe you can blame it on the cat.)
Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread
Slightly adapted from Seven Spoons
Softened butter, for pans
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup whole millet
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk (I used whole milk with good results also)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups shredded zucchini
Preheat an oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans with softened butter. Use a length of parchment to line the bottom and long sides of the pan, forming a sling, and lightly butter the parchment as well. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the millet, pumpkin seeds, and chocolate. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil and buttermilk. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Stir in the zucchini.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stir until combined, taking care not over mix. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and bake, rotating once, until a cake tester inserted into the loaf comes out almost clean, around 50 minutes. Cool loaves in their pans on a rack for 20 minutes, then grasp the edges of the parchment to ease the bread out.
Cool fully before slicing.
Makes two loaves