Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.
Zucchini, Red Leicester, and Quinoa Loaf
Zucchinis galore! That’s been our life this month, and probably next month as well by the looks of it. I’ve been frying, BBQing, baking, and even broiling zucchini. Zucchini omelette, zucchini scrambled eggs, zucchini pancakes! If you’re going to grow zucchinis, and it is well worth it, be aware that 1 plant may serve a couple well, 2 will keep you well stocked, and 3 will have you well an truly up to your ears in the things!
This recipe only used one large zucchini in the end, not being in Australia these days I should be calling them courgettes I guess. Anyway. One 600g zucchini down at least, and something a bit more interesting to eat. Though not one for those worried about Calories (while I’m usually obsessed about them, I’m on a bit of a break from that for now.) Interest in food often hits you hard in the Calorie budget – so burn more!
The zucchini adds bulk, colour, and moisture, I’m not sure it does much for flavour. The Red Leicester is all about flavour, but also brings great colour. The Quinoa brings in texture and also a great sort-of-beany flavour.
All up the ingredient list is:
- 600g — Zucchini
- 450g — Red Leicester cheese
- 100ml — vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
- 100ml — extra virgin olive oil
- 450g — self raising flower
- 150g — quinoa flakes
- 225g — semi-skimmed milk
- 3 — eggs
- 3 tsp — hot English mustard
- 1 tsp — black pepper
- 2 tsp – bicarbonate of soda
- 1.5tsp — baking powder
Looking evil, no? Using semi-skimmed milk looks like a joke given its brethren in that list! Rest assured that semi-skimmed was used because it’s what we have in the fridge, full-cream will do just fine.
The bi-carb and baking-soda as well as self-raising flour may seem overkill, but given the wetness of zucchini and heavy oil content they’re essential to avoid ending up with a cheesy-zucchini-brick. Most recipes I found along these lines used a lot more actually, as much as twice what I’ve used. But I don’t like the flavour imparted by adding too much of these raising agents and stopped adding them based on taste. In the end I got a light enough texture to suit me (click on the photo up the top for a close-up of the texture.)
Before mixing up the batter pre-heat your oven to 180°C and prepare appropriate baking tins. This recipe makes a large volume, even the photo below isn’t quite all of it as there were 2 muffins that didn’t survive until the photo shoot! Warm muffins fresh from the oven… mmmm. Adjust the amounts to suit whatever zucchini you’ve got I guess, give or take 100g of accuracy on the zucchini shouldn’t be a problem.
Making the batter is trivial. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, and mix in the quinoa, bi-carb, baking soda, and black pepper. In another bowl put the oils, milk, eggs, and mustard. Whisk this well until combined, then gradually mix in the dry ingredients forming a smooth batter.
Grate the zucchini and cheese and mix together. Put all but a couple of handfuls into the batter and stir through.
Now spoon into greased loaf tins or muffin trays. A loaf tin can be filled to 4-fifths volume safely, muffin trays can be filled almost to the top. Distribute the reserved cheese and zucchini over the loaves/muffins as a topping and pop into the oven.
Muffins are done after around 30 minutes, loaves will take 45 minutes. As usual the skewer-test is the best way to tell where things are at.
The loaves and muffins should keep well in the fridge for at least a week, and reheat well, thanks mainly to the high oil content. For the same reason freezing is also an option, we’ve popped most of the muffins in the freezer for future lunch-content which should serve us well for a couple of weeks after our break. (We’ve been on holiday-at-home for a week, and I’m starting a new job on Monday and won’t be working from home any more so I have to start thinking about my own packed lunches!) You can toast slices of the loaf, but be careful getting it out of the toaster as it can break apart easily. Slices of the loaf are actually excellent grilled on the BBQ, serve with some grilled zucchini!
In fact I’m off to have a slice for breakfast right now, with a fried egg and some steamed buttery sorrel.