Monday, June 29, 2009

Shredding up green things

I found myself once again with an abundance of green things. Since they were taking up space, it made the most sense to compress them into tiny bits in order to make delicious green things, hence zucchini bread and all-purpose pesto.

Zucchini Bread

Both recipes are adapted from the Bartlett's Farm Cookbook.

I technically could have made more than 4 loaves of bread with all of the shredded zucchini that came out of the monster vegetable that I bought at the city market, but I made do with the only 3 bread pans I had. With such a large amount of food to shred, it was great to use the Cuisinart. Not only is it always fun to work with enormous spinning blades, but the shreds were large enough to still show up in the finished product.

2.5 cups of zucchini, unpeeled and shredded
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups of sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp lemon zest (I used lime)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Recipe also called for 1/2 tsp of ground cloves, for which I used cardamom, and 1/4 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of raisins. I didn't have enough honey, and raisins tend to either delight or repulse. Since most of this bread was for other people, I didn't want to take the chance. I personally think it would be yummy.

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Let zucchini drain in colander.
3. Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.
4. In another bowl, beat eggs and add sugar and oil.
5. Blend in flour mixture until smooth. Add zucchini (and honey and raisins), lemon zest and nuts. Blend but don't overstir.
6. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let it cool and then watch it disappear quickly.


2 cups of packed basil leaves
2 large garlic cloves (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup of pine nuts (or walnuts, which are cheaper and still do the trick)
1/2 to 3/4 cup of fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1. In a food processor, combine basil leaves, garlic, salt and pepper. Process until well blended and scrape down sides often.
2. Add olive oil while continuing to process.
3. Add nuts. Process.
4. Add cheese. Process.

It's a shame that there's no reason to use the nifty shredding attachment, or even necessarily the food processor. However, the outcome is still delicious. This only makes one cup, but that's enough for some pasta sauce or to use as a sandwich spread. Make more at a time and you can freeze for the sad basil-less winter months.

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