From Lisa Barnes
Over the summer we went to drop off my son at preschool and sitting on the table was this large item. It looked like a zucchini, but a crazy overgrown, super zucchini. The teacher said one of the students brought it in from his grandfather’s organic farm. The kids loved seeing it and lifting it. It weighed almost 20 pounds! I asked what was going to happen to the zucchini and the teacher said nothing and offered for me to take it. I of course was happy and couldn’t wait to cut it, cook it and create with it.
My son wanted me to make Zucchini Bread. This seemed like a good idea and fun to share with his class (since I took the school property to make it). I carefully washed the giant and prepped everything else for the bread. I figured I’d cut the zucchini and grate it last, since it was going to take some work. That was a mistake. When I cut into the squash it was very hard. It was unlike any zucchini I ever cut. But then again I’d never worked with a 20 pound zucchini. Still I found it odd that it was so hard. Zucchinis are part of the summer squashes, thus the skin is thin. As I was trying to get a knife in and out I realized this skin was much more like a winter squash. Getting in further I saw that the seeds inside were not edible like a zucchini but hard like a pumpkin.
Speaking of pumpkins I figured I’d roast the seeds. Then I cut and steamed some of the flesh. I discovered the flavor was more like that of acorn squash. Then I did some research, on the internet, searching for a squash I didn’t know about. I couldn’t find any new varietals, but maybe that’s a question for Gene. Given my research and testing I think the closest thing was either an acorn squash that disguised it’s shape as a zucchini or a crazy green banana squash.
Anyways I had to rethink my zucchini bread. I salvaged my measured zucchini bread ingredients and made banana bread instead. However here’s the recipe for the “kini” bread we were hoping to make…
“Kini” Bread Recipe
Add a little green to your child’s diet without them realizing it’s a nutritious veggie in there. The recipe was inspired by my cousin Karen who made it for a family brunch gathering. This is a great bread for a large gathering, to slice and pack in a lunch or bring to a school bake sale. This makes enough for 2 loaves so you eat one today and freeze the other for another day, or make one for your family and share the other with friends. It also works if you halve the recipe and just make one large loaf.
3 cups organic zucchini, grated
4 cups organic whole grain wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cage free, organic eggs (use two eggs if cut in half)
2 cups organic sugar
1 cup organic expeller pressed canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange zest
Grease two 4 x 8 loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine zucchini, flour, salt, powder soda and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a medium bowl beat eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and zest. Make a well in the center of the zucchini mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the well and combine with a rubber spatula.
Divide dough equally into prepared baking pans and bake for one hour or until gold and cooked throughout, using toothpick test.
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook and lives in Sausalito, California.
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