Tis the season to get creative with your zucchini.
From fritters and tarts to salads and breads, zucchini is a versatile summer squash with many applications.
One of reader Julia Vander Vegt’s favorite ways to use the plant is in her dark zucchini and banana bread, adapted from the 1981 Saint Mary Magdalen Parish cookbook. The original recipe called only for zucchini, but the first time Julia made it, she didn’t have enough so she added banana to the mix. It turned out to be a delicious substitute.
“It has a wonderful intense flavor and is very satisfying served with a little butter and a cup of tea,” Julia wrote. “Even better is to top it with some sharp cheddar cheese.”
The bread gets its dark color and rich flavor from a mix of rye, whole wheat and white flours. You can make it with just zucchini or just banana. Either way, it’s 100% delicious.
Dark zucchini/banana bread
1 cup oil
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini (do not peel or drain)
1 cup grated or mashed ripe banana
1 cup dark rye flour
1 cup whole wheat or graham flour
1 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (Julia uses half walnuts and half pecans)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all ingredients, then spread evenly in two small, greased loaf pans. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.