September 13, 2010

chocolate zucchini bread

Somehow, in the blink of an eye, we are already in mid-September, the last vestiges of summer starting to give way to autumn. The sun is setting at 7:30 pm instead of 9:30 pm, temperatures are mellowing out, and all the kids (and teachers!) are back in school.

But our "summer" garden is still chugging along.

It wasn't a spectacularly warm summer like last year here in Seattle, so most of our tomatoes are only now beginning to hit their peak. The carrots and beets have been very good, the lettuces and arugula were more productive than we ever could have hoped/wanted, and we actually have peppers this year! We're getting some nice delicata squash, the sugar snap peas were fantastic, and the kale and chard keep on going. A big surprise hit this year was our parsley... really delicious parsley, believe it or not.

And then there's the zucchini.

Every year, we plant one summer squash or zucchini. We do this knowing full well that it will be more productive than we can handle and take up more space than we want. But we plant it anyway. Last year, the summer squash grew to extend more than 20 feet, wrapping itself around the garden plot. Thinking we were clever, we opted this year for a "smaller" variety of zucchini. Whatever. Crazy growth has still resulted. When we didn't pay close attention last month, one of the zucchini grew larger than 5 lbs! We've grilled a bunch and given a bunch away, but the plant keeps producing! We can't keep up!

When life gives you an overabundance of zucchini, make zucchini bread.

To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of zucchini bread. Sure, it's moist, but most recipies tend to lack depth of flavor. Then I ran across this blog post about a Zucchini Chocolate Loaf and I was sold. I'm not going to reprint the recipe here because I just followed Asha's recipe with two exceptions. I omitted the basil from the batter (but I think it's a great idea to add it upon plating), and put in 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts.

The loaf is light, with a delicate crumb, yet super moist and flavorful. Try it for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

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