Zucchini is a notoriously abundant summer veggie — there are always too many of them. When we tested this recipe, the kitchen was abuzz with tales of zucchini hustling: the most brazen gardener among us has been tucking squash into his neighbors’ mailboxes while they sleep.
If you’re not up for mail fraud, quick bread is always a nice way to dispatch a spare zucchini or two. We like this update on the classic recipe for a bunch of reasons: Zucchini always makes for a moist quick bread, but here we use olive oil, so the crumb is especially soft and tender. The bread is also full of sweet-tart dried cranberries and pecans. It’s super chewy and crunchy, and that texture makes it feel like a heartier snack.
But the most thrilling update of all is the Tree Hive Syrup we subbed in for sugar. A splendid blend of maple syrup, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla, the syrup gives the bread’s baking spices some oomph and adds a mellow sweet note — like lightly caramelized vanilla-honey.
We like this bread at brunch, where it’s the perfect sweet finish to the savory side of things — but not so sweet that it sends everyone off to nap. It’s also a great companion for a midafternoon cup of Earl Grey. After dinner, the kiddos love it toasted with a pat of salted sweet cream butter.
All in all, it’s such a handy and delightful treat, you may find yourself throwing open your fridge and rescuing surplus zucchini just so you can make loaves and loaves of the stuff.
Preheat the oven to 350° and generously grease one loaf pan measuring 8×4 or 9×5 inches.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil, syrup, and vanilla extract.
Sprinkle the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt over the wet ingredients, and whisk well.
Add the cup of zucchini, stirring well.
Gently fold in the flour, mixing only until the flour disappears.
Fold in the dried cranberries and pecans.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
You can let the loaf cool for 10 minutes on a rack before inverting it and removing the bread from the pan, or just let it cool completely in the pan. The zucchini bread will keep, wrapped in foil at room temperature, for up to 5 days.
Recipe adapted from: Smitten Kitchen