In addition to the 40,000 herbs and flowers, we also have a small, very overgrown vegetable garden that is mercilessly pumping out giant zucchinis. Every 2 days, I pull about 7 honkers out of there! It’s a lot of zucchini.
I made zucchini soup, zucchini pizza crust, and then decided to do a zucchini loaf. I’d never actually made a strictly zucchini loaf – usually it had banana in there too. And then I got the bright idea to flavour it with some of the sweeter herbs in the field.
I ended up making two loaves, one with anise hyssop and the other with lemon balm. Usually, when I go off recipe, it does not work out well for me, but I’m happy to report that this was one of the few times where I definitely improved the recipe!
For the herbs, I used about 6 stalks, stripped the leaves and flowers off, and chopped the leaves and flowers until fairly well minced. I wasn’t too concerned about the odd larger piece here and there – if it was going to bake zucchini skin, surely an herb leaf wouldn’t be noticeable.
The Lemon Balm Loaf is probably my preferred choice of the two, but if you have Danish roots, or just like a zingy licorice, you’ll love the Anise Hyssop loaf.
It’s also worth noting that I ended up using about 2 cups shredded of zucchini, as it turns out my version of large zucchini is considerably different than the original author’s. My zucchini yielded 5+ cups of shredded produce!!
Other things to note are that you do NOT want to squeeze any water out of the zucchini. Leave it all in there. Makes the loaf super moist, and makes life easier, too! One last note is that the amount of sugar used could be decreased fairly significantly. My loafs taste like dessert, and I’m not complaining, but you could easily leave out 30-40% of the sugar and it would still taste great.
- 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini – lightly packed -do not drain liquid
- ¾ cup of herb of choice (anise hyssop or lemon balm), chopped, lightly packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil -or your preferred cooking oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, add the grated zucchini, chopped herbs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir just until no dry flour remains, trying not to over mix.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 54 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the bread should come out with moist crumbs on it.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.
- Store covered in the refrigerator.