Not Your Grandma’s Cornbread: Zucchini Cornbread

There are times in life to be a picky eater.

Yes, I just said that.

I understand the whole picky eater problem. We like what we like. We are only human beings after all. We have the right to say no to this or that. Like me, I hate the idea of olives. I have probably expressed this before. It’s the consistency and the brine flavor that completely peeves me. Suffice it to say that I was never one of those kids playing around with ten olives on each finger.

But while I don’t like olives, there aren’t many other foods that make me want to physically cringe. I can think of several people in my life that are picky beyond repair. You know, the kind of people that will eat plain pasta and pizza and nothing else. I try to sympathize but I really don’t understand how all foods can be “gross”. There is nothing gross about escargots or chicken livers, they are just different.

When it comes to different most people are a bit skeptical about adding fruits to savory or vegetables to sweets. It doesn’t seem right, does it? Why would I want to eat some carrots baked into a cake or have peaches with my chicken? It doesn’t seem to make any sense.

But trust me it does. It is like culinary magic. Fruit can gives dishes natural sweetness while vegetables provide extra vitamins as well as color to a dish that would otherwise be boring. A good example of a vegetable to baked good story is that of zucchini cornbread. Cornbread is delicious and homey. How it crumbles in your mouth and soaks up the flavor of what it is served with goes beyond what ordinary bread can do. While it fills the belly with delicious it isn’t necessarily the most nutritious. That is when zucchini steps in. Zucchini gives cornbread a lovely natural green color and brings with it all of the nutrients of eating a fresh zucchini. The flavor and texture does not get in the way of regular cornbread. This recipe, only slightly adapted from Sara Dickerman’s Bon Appétit version, is particularly light and filled with simple ingredients you probably have on hand right now.

Give it a go, and become a convert to cooking your zucchini into your baked goods.

 

Zucchini Cornbread

[Adapted from Sara Dickerman, Bon Appetit]

  •     1 stick of unsalted butter
  •     2 large eggs
  •     ½ cup sour cream
  •     1 tablespoon half and half
  •     1 large zucchini, grated
  •     1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (you can substitute with ¼ cup whole wheat flour)
  •     ½ cup sugar
  •     1 teaspoon baking powder
  •     ¾ teaspoon salt
  •     ½ teaspoon baking soda
  •     ¾ cup medium-grind cornmeal

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter or spray a 9 x 5 x 3’’ loaf pan.

2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for about three more minutes until the butter solids turn slightly golden brown. Scrape the butter into a medium bowl to set aside to cool. Whisk in the eggs, sour cream and half and half.

3. Trim the ends of the zucchini. Coarsely grate the zucchini into the bowl with the butter mixture. Stir until well blended.

4. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cornmeal into the bowl. Fold both of the mixtures into each other to blend.

5. Transfer the batter to a prepared pan and smooth the top.

6. Bake the bread until golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Let cool in the pan for ten minutes. Remove from the pan and if you can wait let cool completely on a wire rack.

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