As I write this, with the humidity it feels like 38 degrees in Toronto. Yesterday was more like 45. This is weather for lakes, fresh berries and cold drinks; it has no business in my un-air-conditioned kitchen. In case you too have been avoiding cooking this week, I have a recipe for you to bookmark for the next oven-friendly day. I made this zucchini loaf before Dave & I left for the UK, and it is one of my favourite things.
The ingredient list to this loaf is one I would never have put together on my own. Walnuts, lemon zest, poppy seeds, crystallized ginger, cinnamon, zucchini… unexpected, but I was on board. The curry powder, though, I took on faith, because I’ve never had a bad bet with anything from Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks – and I’m so glad I did. I love the unexpected flavours, the crunch of the walnuts and the loaf’s soft crumb. It’s going to come with us to the Farm this year for our annual country get-away with friends; the only trick will be making sure we don’t eat it all in the roadtrip up!
Notes: This is a recipe that’s never come together quickly for me; though you get two loaves for your time, it’s still a bit of an investment at the get-go. And while I love every one of its ingredients, you could skip some according to your taste or what’s in your pantry – the poppy seeds, lemon zest, ginger and curry powder are listed in the original recipe as optional.
from 101 Cookbooks
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1/3 cup poppy seeds
zest of 2 lemons, chopped
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, minced
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups grated zucchini, squeezed to release excess water
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp curry powder
1. Butter two loaf pans. Sprinkle the buttered sides with flour until lightly coated. Set aside.
2. Place the walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest and ginger in a small bowl. Toss together and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the butter fluffy. Add the following ingredients, mixing until combined after each addition: white and brown sugars; egg #1; egg #2; egg #3; vanilla; zucchini. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and curry powder. Pour half of this mixture into the zucchini batter, stirring until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Gently fold in most of the walnut mixture.
5. Spread the batter into the two prepared loaf pans, and sprinkle with the reserved walnut mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the loaves to cool in their pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.