I knew it was too early for tomatoes in our neck of the woods, so I wasn't expecting any (I wasn't disappointed!). I also knew zucchini season was on and I was ready with some recipes but I wasn't prepared for our basket to be almost completely taken over by the green and yellow stuff!
It so happened I had just put away a little bag of candied ginger I had bought in Vermont on my way back from Gérard Rubaud's bakery (I have noticed that ginger helps me stay alert when I have to drive long-distance, maybe because it is so spicy) and I had been wondering what to use it for now that I was back home.
So when I saw a recipe for a bread using zucchini, carrots and candied ginger in Janet Fletcher's beautifully photographed book, Eating Local, The Cookbook Inspired by American Farmers, I knew I had found what I was looking for.
I adapted the recipe a bit: I replaced all of the all-purpose flour by white whole wheat flour and all of the canola oil (which I didn't have) by extra-light olive oil; I more than halved the sugar (using 150 g instead of a whooping 390 g!) and I didn't use any cinnamon (which I don't much care for). It came out so tasty that even my eleven-month old granddaughter (already a miniature foodie) loved it (despite the heat of the ginger). Try it if you are swimming in zucchini. You won't regret it...
Ingredients: (for two quick breads)
- 400 g freshly-milled white whole wheat flour (I had white wheat berries I needed to use but store-bought flour would work just fine)
- 3 g ground ginger
- 5 g baking soda (1.5 tsp)
- 1 (scant) g baking powder (1/4 tsp)
- 4 g sea salt
- 90 g chopped candied ginger
- 3 large eggs
- 200 g extra-light olive oil
- 150 g sugar
- 10 g vanilla extract
- 110 g carrots, scrubbed and grated
- 150 g zucchini, grated (unpeeled)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F/163°C and lightly oil two quick-bread pans (Fletcher says to use 8.5 x 4.5 pans but I only have the two I bought at Ikea and they are 10 x 4.5)
- Mix together flour, ginger, baking soda and baking powder, sifting if you like (I didn't sift but I whisked). Add salt and candied ginger and whisk
- In large bowl, whisk eggs until foamy. Whisk in oil, sugar and vanilla. Add carrots and zucchini and whisk again
- Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir with wooden spoon until roughly blended
- Divide the batter between the two pans
- Bake about one hour (do the toothpick test to judge doneness)
- Cool on a rack (but wait 10 minutes before taking the breads out of the pans)
It is a lovely book to own if you have a garden or have access to a farm or farmer's market. I got mine used online and it is stamped "No longer the property of the St. Louis Public Library" in bold red letters. It still bears its Dewey identification number: 641.5 EATING. Since it was only published in 2010, your local library might also still own it.