Hello, my friends! I want to thank you for being so patient while waiting for my next post here. I know it’s been awhile and I’ve been ever so grateful for every minute of my relaxing vacation in California — what I like to call “perfecting the art of escapism via the sun.”
It’s been wonderful. Exactly what the doctor ordered. Loads of time with friends and family and my dog. At home, at the beach, in the sand, under the stars. Alas, it’s been an unexpected whirlwind of a trip so as I pack and get ready to say my goodbyes I want to give you a little peek into my vacay. Via the kitchen, of course.
When I first arrived at my parents’ house the day I flew in from Boston, I noticed their neighbors’ new lemon trees. I just knew I had to make use of them while I was here. Thankfully, the neighbors agreed. So, while lemons became the highlight of things grilled, baked, and roasted, my favorite starring role was in this lemon, poppy seed, zucchini bread.
The zucchini came from the farmers’ market, which was nearly my first stop in California. I snapped some nice shots there to share with you later. The farmers’ market is one of the rare places where life seems to slow and my soul seems to swell. (The others on that particular list include the beach, the mountains, and practically any small town in Italy with a cafe and a good glass of wine.) At the farmer’s market people are happy and relaxed, enjoying the sun and the fruits of the land. And I relish it.
So, next time you’re at the farmers’ market, grab some lemons and zucchini (unless you’re unbelievably lucky enough to be growing some of your own), and bake up this mildly sweet, perfectly moist, ever-so-crunchy bread that is equally delish with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Lemon, Poppy Seed, Zucchini Bread with Lemon Glaze
Adapted from Taming the Tart
Yield: 2 loaves
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (Tip: melt only most of the butter and then stir to melt the remaining butter. This helps it cool more quickly.)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon zest (from approximately 1 medium lemon)
3 cups grated zucchini
1/3 cup poppy seeds
4 tablespoons lemon juice (from approximately 2 medium lemons)
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350° F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter two loaf pans.
Grate the zucchini (approximately 3 small/medium-sized should give you 3 cups) using grater or food processor.
Clean the lemon and zest the peel using a microplane or grater.
In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside the dry ingredients.
Beat the eggs with a stand or hand-held mixer until foamy. Beat in the honey, sugar, butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and lemon zest until well combined. Stir or lightly beat in the oil, poppy seeds, and zucchini.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until just combined.
Pour half the batter into each of the prepared loaf pans. The batter for this bread is quite thick. Don’t be alarmed!
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the tops are browned and a toothpick comes out clean (should you find yourself 3,000 miles away from your kitchen and your wholly unnecessary yet totally adorable cake tester). Let cool for a few minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
While the loaves are cooling, make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice in a bowl. Mix well until thoroughly combined and the sugar is dissolved.
Use a fork to poke holes on the tops of the loaves. Then slowly pour the glaze over the tops of both loaves.