Tomato Basil Zucchini Bread

It must surely be zucchini season if I have so many recipes like this to post! I really do like zucchini, but I just don’t usually get as creative with it during the rest of the year as I do during August. That is because there is so much zucchini floating around during this season, and if you know where to look you don’t have to pay for it either! My husband and I were going for a walk last Sunday and on the side of the road someone had put out a box full of zucchini, squash and cucumbers with a sign that said “Free!”. I picked out a zucchini that was about the length of my arm and about twice as big around! We have been slicing and chopping and grating it up and I still have a big chunk of it left in my fridge.

Little side note about seasonal eating… I have been reading a book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I have found it fascinating! It is about a family that decides to eat only what they can grow/raise themselves or from within their county. The book talks a lot about plant seasons and eating things during the season in which they naturally grow. It is so intriguiging to be because it reitorates how involved the Lord is in our lives, even down to the growing seasons of fruits and vegetables. We can literally survive only on what is “in season” or on things that can be stored through the winter. It all comes back to the Word of Wisdom, and the principle of eating produce in it’s season, and eating meat sparingly (or when produce is not in season. It is all very thought provoking and my appreciation grows for the hand of God in our lives.
 
Well back to zucchini, I have never really had it in a savory bread. When I was young, my mom always made it into a sweet bread, with a similar recipe to that of pumpkin or banana bread. Zucchini bread was cake-like and spiced up with cinnamon and cloves. As an adult that is also how I have always made my zucchini bread. The other day my neighbor brought us a zucchini muffin and I was intrigued that it had savory spices and cheese on top! I realized that I needed to break out of the box with my zucchini bread recipes. Hence, the post you are reading right now!
 
This bread is so yummy! It would be perfect with some warm soup or a plate of shrimp. Actually, I say shrimp because the bread slightly reminds me of Red Lobster’s cheesy biscuits (but don’t think that this is a copy cat recipe for their biscuits), mostly because of the texture of the bread and all the cheese. :)
 
The character of this bread comes from, as I mentioned, the zucchini, cheese, tomato pieces and basil. Aside from these ingredients, the recipe is that of a basic quick bread. You have probably made them many times before, and this one will be just as easy to whip up! You can choose to peel your zucchini first, or leave the skins on, whichever you prefer. I peeled some of the skins off my zucchini, but I did leave a little bit on, to give the bread a little extra color. 
 
 One batch makes an 8×8 pan (or 9×5) of bread. The cooking times will slightly vary, by about 5 minutes, depending on the size of pan you use, but I don’t recommend anything smaller because the bread might not be cooked in the center before the outside is very dark brown. 
 
 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup tomato, finely diced
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup Colby Jack cheese, divided

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Combine the zucchini, tomato, basil, oil and egg in a bowl and mix together. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, while stirring (If you are thinking “But I don’t have enough hands!” – you can add a little, stir a little, add a little, stir a little etc). There will be a few lumps remaining.
Add half the cheese into the bread batter and mix together. Pour the batter into an 8×8 (or 9×5) greased bread pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the bread.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are browning and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing.

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