Part of the agreement when we bought our chest freezer last summer was that I would solemnly swear not to become a freezer hoarder–one of those folks who accumulates a stockpile of frozen carrots and squash from three summers back, who needlessly continues to stuff more on top while ignoring the rest. I promised that by the end of winter we would eat everything that I put in and would carefully follow the agreed upon rule of first in, first out. And in all honesty, eating down the storage hasn’t been that bad.
In the past few weeks we’ve narrowed it down and can finally see the bottom. For the most part all that’s left are a few bags of blueberries, some green beans, pumpkin puree, and the shredded zucchini I used to make a great quick bread. It seems like an eternity since I tossed the zucchini in the freezer. I had read last spring that summer squash freezes well if baked with upon thawing and wanted to test the theory.
I adapted the Fruit-and-Nut or Vegetable-and-Nut Bread recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, a staple on my kitchen counter. The result: one beautiful (and mostly local) tasty product from the freezer and a little more space for this season’s treasures!
Zucchini Walnut Bread
Adapted by Amy Sippl from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
4 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 C. raw frozen shredded zucchini, thawed and drained well
1 C. chopped walnuts.
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease one 9 x 5″ loaf pan and set aside. Combine all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
2. Cut the cold butter into smaller pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until pieces are about the size of small pebbles.
3. Combine the milk, lemon juice and egg in separate bowl and beat well. Add to the dry ingredients being careful to just moisten the batter; it will be lumpy but don’t fret! Over-mixing will make for a tough finished loaf. Carefully fold in the zucchini and walnuts, again avoid over combining.
4. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool 15-20 minutes on a baking rack before removing from the pan. Makes 1 very tasty loaf!