Every morning I check my vegetable garden. Every morning I am rewarded with zucchini. I lift the large leaves to find these green treasures. I like to pick zucchini when they are very small and tender. I wanted to make zucchini loaf, but to take it up a notch. I salted the zucchini to draw out the moisture. The results – a spectacularly light loaf, and well worth this extra step.
ZUCCHINI LOAF (makes 2 loaves)
3 zucchinis grated (about 4 cups)
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/3 cups white sugar
l cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup golden raisins
Soak raisins in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a colander or strainer; set aside.
Clean the zucchini and trim the ends. Do not peel. Shred with a medium sized shredder. You should have about 4 cups when finished. Sprinkle the zucchini with l tsp of salt and place in a large bowl. Mix it with your hands to evenly distribute the salt. Place a heavy plate on top of the zucchini and weigh down with food cans. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes to purge itself of liquid. Empty the zucchini into a colander and squeeze to release the juices. Dump the grated zucchini onto a tea towel that has been folded in half, roll up and give it another good squeeze to remove even more liquid. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans and set aside.
Set aside 2 tbsp of the flour. Sift together the remaining flour, soda , spices and remaining 1/4 tsp of salt. Don’t be tempted to omit this step. The sifting makes for a lighter loaf.
Beat eggs on medium speed(using the whisk) for about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, a little at a time and beat for a good 45 minutes. The mixture should be light in color and thick. While beating, slowly pour in the oil.
Change to your K blade. Add the vanilla to the eggs and then add the zucchini. Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time and mix just until the dry ingredients are mixed in. Do not over mix.
Combine the remaining 2 tbs flour, nuts and drained raisins in a small bowl, mix together to coat. Fold into the batter. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees f (175 c) for about l hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to a rack to cool for ten minutes. Remove from pans and cool on a rack completely.
Dust with a little powdered sugar if desired. Make yourself a cup of Earl Gray Tea and enjoy. You deserve it.